"Oi, shitface, pass the damn salt," Nnoitra sniffed, pointing his slick chin in the direction of Ulquiorra. My captor, obviously unhappy with him, slowly picked up the shaker and passed it to the tall man. The eyepatched Espada tore it from his grip and turned it upside-down onto his food. A small pile of salt formed, and he spread it around the piece of unidentifiable food in an even layer. I had experimented with salt many times when I was home; it wasn't delicious when you put that much on there.

"I see trash is just as ungrateful as always," Ulquiorra nearly made it sound like a joke, and I almost grimaced at the tension. Layers of hatred were rolling off of Nnoitra in walls of reiatsu, obviously trying to compensate for what he lacked in rank. His single, squinty eye stabbed into my fear, before scraping over his superior's form. I couldn't help but gag whenever I saw the tall Espada; he reminded me of a creepy crawly spider. I could imagine hairy legs sprouting from his back and reaching out to grab me-

"Piss off, ya damn dickless bat," he stood, grabbing his plate and preparing to leave. He turned on his heel and spat on the ground next to my feet before twitching out of the room. I inched away from the spot, bumping into Ulquiorra's arm. Now that the thick air had reduced, I looked up at my caretaker. He was unaffected, as he tended to be with everything. It would probably kill him to change his facial expression; much less show emotions.

"Woman," he said, still not facing me as he wandered into the small kitchen. "If you're hungry, please have a seat." I simply nodded, sitting down at the mostly blank white table. The border was solid black, and I ran my fingers across it gently. I wondered if the person who designed Las Noches was also black and white. Maybe he was a Hollow in the form of a Dalmatian. If Hollows could reproduce, did that mean there were puppy Hollows? I hadn't seen any doggy doors in Las Noches, so the puppies must live farther away. Ulquiorra had opened the cupboards and looked through them for quite a while by now, and I twisted in the stiff chair to check up on him. He was scanning the shelves with his emerald orbs, searching the empty spaces for the smallest of crumbs.

"It seems," he said, turning to look at me this time. "That we have run out of food." I felt my eyes widen in surprise. I was more shocked than I should have been; after all, there was little reason for these people to keep food around. I bit my lip again and took a little peek around as well. It was as he reported – there was absolutely no food left. Every part had been scraped clean of edible materials. Plastic bags were all that remained, and a single metal spoon.

"But… how? Arrancars don't really eat on a regular basis, right?" I pondered, tucking my loose hair behind my ear. At this, the man shrugged, retreating back down the hallway. I hurried after him, certain to be scolded if I lingered too long.

"Since we don't really know how to cook correctly," he said with a sigh. "They must have wasted a lot of ingredients coming up with your meals. Food isn't something we normally plan ahead for, either, so no one put it at top priority."

"Oh…" I trailed off. Certainly they hadn't assumed I would serve my purpose and starve… But that would just provide another source of entertainment for them, of that I was positive.

"I wouldn't fret, woman," he said quietly, still gliding down the hallway. He didn't sound all that worried, and I blinked a few times. "If we ask Aizen-sama, he can get you food relatively quickly."

Now I started to sweat. Being in the same room as the ex-shinigami made me feel like hiding in a deep hole; like peeling off my skin to get rid of my shivers. Even the thought of his brown eyes burrowing into my grey ones made my teeth ache. However, my growling stomach echoed much louder in my mind than my teeth did, and I obediently trudged after the raven-haired Espada. I desperately hoped he would drop me off at my room and go ask Aizen by himself. I didn't feel like being pushed into the floor by an excessive amount of reiatsu at the moment…

"Woman," Ulquiorra droned. "It's time to go eat." His monotonous voice had woken me quite rudely, and I flopped vertically before blinking back the sleep in my slate eyes.

"…Huh?" Yeah, that was my intelligent response for the day. Not even day, I snorted as I looked out my window at the dark sky. Had I slept through dinner? My nap had flashed by in just a few seconds, it seemed. But in reality, or whatever you would call this strange place, hours and hours had passed. Maybe, I could just sleep and sleep until my nakama came for me.

"Woman," the same man who was in my memory was now staring at me. He had been trying to get my attention. I blinked and looked at him questioningly.

"Y-yes, Ulquiorra-san?" My second intelligent response for the day.

"I can feel your uneasiness," he began, and I flushed at his dry tone. "If you do not wish to see Aizen-sama personally, you may wait in your quarters instead." No way! I imagined Ulquiorra grinning and riding up to me on a shiny, white horse. He was clad in shimmering white armor and helped me up onto his gallant steed. We laughed as we galloped into the sunrise.

"Really?" I didn't care that my voice wavered; anything to avoid seeing the terrifying brown-haired man.

"I wouldn't joke with you," he almost had an insisting tone. I almost laughed at that… he wouldn't joke with anyone about anything on any day. If he ever did, I would make sure to be there to see it. I sourly stopped that thought with the truth; my nakama were going to save me and kill all of the Arrancar. I wouldn't see these people again. With that realization, I was happy. Mostly.

"Aizen-sama doesn't consider you a threat anymore," he stated, and I continued to stare in fuzzy-minded confusion. "As a guest of Hueco Mundo, you can be lead around to a few spots… as long as I'm with you."

"Um, okay," I nodded at this. I had, after all, swore an oath to Aizen to help him at any cost. "Let's… go get dinner from the kitchen."

"Yes, please," I said to him, unwilling to let go of the grin on my face. I could feel my skin glowing and my eyes gleaming. "I would like to wait in my room, Ulquiorra-san." He nodded, walking a few more feet before pushing open a door. I realized we were in my hallway after all; he must have predicted my answer. I was grateful, even just a little, that he wasn't going to push me on his master.

So the knight dropped me off at my tower. I stood on the other side of the door as he closed it; and my smile diminished as I looked around. I could sense the knight turning and trotting away on his sparkling white horse. I saw myself, sitting in the top of the tower forever. The knight continued to ride back and forth past the entrance. I saw the moon set and the sun rise; the days pass in monotony. I blinked a few times in surprise, and another scene popped into my mind. Instead, I was riding on the back of my knight's horse, over golden hills and through magical gardens. After a long day of adventure, we would return to the tower and I would bid him farewell. I was certain he would not save me; I was absolutely certain that he didn't want to; and I was starting to believe I didn't want to be saved.

The next morning, he would pick me up at the same time. We would load up on his horse and take off. I was smiling, and he urged the horse to gallop through a babbling brook. My fantasy-self squealed in delight, and pointed to something in the distance. There was a small army of people on horseback. They were so far away, and didn't seem to be heading towards us at a fast pace. The knight nodded, confirming that they were my friends; coming to save me. He suggested we return to the tower for the night. I nodded, gripping his abdomen. My friends would find me at the tower; as they had been told. I seemed to be having tons of fun.

Instead, I stood in the cold, dark room. I had no food, no source of entertainment. I had no prince, no beautiful dress, no amazing adventures.

I chose to leap from the edge of chance.

I turned and yelled as loud as I could at my door.

"ULQUIORRA-SAN!" It was embarrassing, having to call the dull man back to save me. I banged my tiny fists on the door, yelling his name again and again.

But if anyone had to take me on an adventure… if anyone could relieve my suffering for the slightest moment before my friends saved me… it had to be the heartless Espada named Ulquiorra Cifer.

"Woman," the door opened, and a single tear perched at the corner of my eye. I blinked it viciously away and looked him straight in the eyes.

"Ulquiorra-san, I'll go with you," I said, pushing past him into the hallway. "To Aizen-sama's … to get dinner."

"Are you sure?" I could tell he didn't believe me, so I just nodded strongly and grabbed his hand to tug him down the hallway. I felt a small spark, but he jerked his hand away, obviously disgusted at my show of eagerness.

"I'll lead you there… but you might have to wait outside the chamber," he warned, eyeing me one last time. I just sprouted a small smile, looking up at him bashfully. My knight was looking after me, making sure I wanted to go on an adventure.

"I'm fine with that. As long as I get some food soon!" I was half-joking, but I doubt he noticed. He didn't know how much I craved the variety he was offering.

Weeks later, I'm quite unsure the exact number, I heard a knock at my door. Seeing as I was in a good mood, something that happened quite often ever since Ulquiorra decided to bring me around the kingdom on adventures, I called out with a leap of happiness in my voice.

"Come in!" My voice echoed around the room. My room had become a place of rest now, instead of a prison cell. The tower that my knight would bring me from and leave me in is what it had become.

The door opened quickly, and I looked up, expecting to see the familiar head of black locks. Instead, I was met with a pink mop. Through elegant white glasses, cold amber eyes stared me down. My smile faltered, but didn't fall. The scowl on his lips wasn't good, I knew that much.

"Szayelapporo-san? Does Aizen-sama need me?" It was odd – Ulquiorra and I had been frolicking in the garden of escapades so fervently, I hadn't seen another Arrancar since that first run-in with Nnoitra. Why had another Espada been sent? Perhaps… my knight was on a mission for his king. That same king I hadn't seen in a while either, making me all the happier.

"Aizen-sama doesn't need you as much as someone else might," he hinted, glancing at me with a slightly disturbed look before raising a hand. I followed his gesture to the figure in the hallway. It was crookedly standing, hand to waist, with blood pouring onto the floor.

"Woman…" oh no. No, no no no!

My knight had a large hole in his side, going through his armor. His helmet was dented as well, a large stream of blood spilling down his face and neck. He attempted to enter my room with poise, failing when I saw him hiss. Szayel clicked his tongue, bringing my attention back to him. He sighed, pushing Ulquiorra further into my room.

"Aizen-sama was less than pleased to learn of your… vacations, eh, Cuatro?" He snickered, but the fallen knight didn't spare him a glance. "So you ran back to your stupid prisoner? Back to the scene of the crime?"

"Leave, Octava," he all but growled, looking at me with the strangest glimmer in his eyes. The scientist danced from the room, stopping to put a digit in the pool of blood. The heavy door was swinging shut. The door closed on the image of his finger in his mouth, head turned. Those burning, yellow eyes seemed ready to bury me.

"Ulquiorra-san," I felt hot tears form at my eyes, for the first time in what seemed like forever. I couldn't finish my sentence with his finger over my lips. His ragged breaths were the only sound in the room, other than the soft drips of blood on the floor.

"Inoue-san," he greeted, as he often did when he visited me alone. He stuck his other hand in his pocket, pulling out one of my hairpins. It hit me like a sack of bricks, and I looked at him, tears blurring my vision.

"S-s-santen k-k-kisshun…" the words fell from my twitching lips, and the orange orb formed around the impact on his side. The injury wasn't what I was worried about, though.

"What was he talking about, Ulquiorra-san?" My brain had started to work overtime, trying to piece together the pieces. Szayel had said something about an angry Aizen… and vacations…

"It was a simple mistake on my part," he grunted, unwilling to show much more feeling.

"You're lying to me-"

"It wouldn't be the first time," he cracked, and I was startled by his cold tone. Before I could ask, he gritted his teeth. The wound was slowly regenerating and closing and the one on his head had long since stopped bleeding.

"I wasn't completely honest… two weeks ago…" he said, closing his brilliantly green eyes. So it had only been two weeks? Those moments of freedom had seemed like years, maybe decades. My knight turned his face away from me in shame. "Aizen-sama hadn't given me permission to do anything with you. It was my independent decision, and apparently not the smartest one."

"But," the tears streaming down my cheeks no longer glowed when the orange bubble disappeared. "Why? Why would you do that?"

"I needed to see the heart's reaction to pity," he said, and I felt like he had put a cero in my stomach. The thought shot into my mind like an out of control rocket…

My knight had, in fact, not helped me, but dragged me around as an accessory as he went on venture after venture.

I had been wrong.

I dropped my gaze to the ground, hair covering my face. One of my hands was pressed against my hiccupping mouth, and tears coated the back of it. For this long, I had been under the impression that we were having fun together. I had assumed that both of us were enjoying these field trips. But, in the end, Ulquiorra had chosen to sit by and observe my silly fantasies. His change of attitude towards me, albeit being slight, had just been another part of his experiment. I acted like the most naïve creature in Hueco Mundo, believing he had been assisting me, when the truth had been vice versa. I was a fool.

"Inoue-san…" his voice was a low whisper, and I cringed at the fake hints I now picked up in his tone. Had I noticed them before, I could have ended this stupid runaround long ago.

"Inoue-san, I found some rather strange results," he said, and I looked him in the eyes yet again. "When I stopped pitying your heart… and your heart started to pity me."

And I saw something I was afraid of. In his emerald depths I saw the one thing I had dreamed about, the one thing I needed, and now I didn't want it. I wanted to take it and step on it and break it in half.

"S-stop," I whispered coldly, scooting away from him. He sat up, still giving me that look.

Ulquiorra nearly stopped my heart with what he was showing me.

"The strange thing about hearts…"


"Especially your heart, Inoue-san…"

"I said stop! No more!"

"Is that when they come in contact…"


"With heartless beings, a prime example being myself…"

"Don't f-finish, Ulquiorra-san… I beg you,"

"A tiny spark pops off of the large flame that is your heart,"


"And ignites a tiny fire inside the heartless being."

"AND WHAT WILL YOU DO NOW?" The question burst from me in a fit of passion, and I dared to glare at him. His eyes were hidden from me by two grey eyelids and a pretty set of thick, dark lashes. His smooth features were calm, except for his furrowed brow. The two soft lips parted.

"I need to see the reaction when the tiny fire comes in contact with the big, beautiful flame," he said, suddenly right in front of me. His knees locked mine together, his heavy, strong hands holding down my wrists on the cold floor. I shook my hair in front of my face, rejecting the entirely innocent expression that was invading my delicate space.

"You don't understand, Ulquiorra-san," I spat. "This can't happen. This wasn't supposed to happen."

"Oh?" He breathed. I could feel his eyes on me, picking up the smallest of details. I hoped he got the message soon, and left me alone forever. This wasn't solving our problem… he was stalling for time to think.

"We were just supposed to fool around! I was supposed to have fun! You were supposed to support me from the shadows! And then, when my friends came and killed you all, we would depart without hesitation!" I screeched at him. However loud my voice had become, he didn't show any signs of distraction from his main goal.

I had to keep refusing him. I wouldn't give him more data; no more results could be plucked from me. He would have to get it from my cold, dead hands. His breathing on my collarbone wasn't helping me, and I thrashed. His iron grip wasn't giving either.

"When did this happen?" My voice was quiet, and he raised an eyebrow.

"When did what happen?" His voice was making me shiver, his hot breath traveling down the side of my neck. He was closer now, almost digging his face into my hair.

"When did you pull out from the shadows? When did that little spark fly? When…" I bit my lip, throwing away my last fear. "Did you become important to me?"

Ulquiorra pulled away, leaving me feeling cold. He stood, not even looking at me. I felt a sudden strong feeling of relief and guilt. Maybe, we wouldn't be in this situation if I had kept my selfish needs to myself. Now we were in this mess… and slowly spiraling downwards.

"Since the very beginning," he said, sitting on my large white couch. "You have interested me. You, the only person in Hueco Mundo with… a heart."

This wasn't breaking news. I knew he had kept a close eye on me… but why bring up the obvious now? He was stalling for my answer.

"This interest grew until… that moment," he slid down the front of the couch until he was sitting next to me awkwardly on the floor. "Do you remember? When you called my name. When you yelled it like it was the last thing you would ever say." I flushed, he was getting towards his point; getting closer to the climax that would unleash what I had seen emanating from the back of his eyes.

"I remember," I confirmed, pulling my knees up to my chin. I managed to busy my eyes with a spot on the floor directly in front of my feet.

"When you did that, I learned another emotion that the heart can have," he folded his legs underneath him, placing his hands in his lap. "And I found a little bit of it inside myself as well. Desperation."

He didn't let me interject, not that I could have said anything to deter him anyways.

"I knew then, that we had something in common. Not in common… like I have with the other Espada. But things we had in common when it came to…"

Ulquiorra's hand rose to his chest, fingers grazing his hollow hole before resting on the left side.

"To the 'heart' I had so long wanted to learn about, and never found. That was the spark," he finished for a moment.

I felt him turn towards me, but my head was buried in my arms, wanting to get away from his gently pleading expression.

"Since then, I have carefully waited… 'from the shadows' as you say… waited for this moment," his voice was like grinding my head on a cheese grater. I couldn't bear to hear anything else he could possibly say. He was too eloquent… too planned out to be real. This was another phase of his test, as he had said himself. The thing I feared most must be fake…

"The thing inside me that you must call a 'heart' started to beg me to get closer to you, Inoue-san. I had no choice but to hold it in… and then Nnoitra confronted me a few hours ago, demanding to know where I had been for so long. I rejected his question, turning away from that trash. I was walking to your room when I learned he had told Aizen-sama about our meetings. I was brought to Aizen-sama's chamber… and taught that I was too sloppy with my little game. I should have been more careful when I was protecting both of us from the others," this killed me, and I slumped against the floor. The cold tile welcomed me with open arms, and I embraced it with equal need. Ulquiorra had been punished because… he thought it was because he was sloppy? He was playing a stupid 'game' with both of us as pawns.

"It wasn't your fault, Ulquiorra-san," I stated, half of my face smooshed against the floor. It killed me to say it, even though a little part of me insisted it was true.

"Indeed… I must conclude that it was both of our efforts that led to this undoing," he was right about one thing, even if it did mean putting a little blame on him. I sighed, curling away from him. I was lost, and all I needed was for him to disappear. I needed my nakama to appear and whisk me away. I needed Kurosaki-kun again. Again, my selfish thoughts were the only thing in my brain.

That was when I felt something on my hip. The softest, lightest touch I could imagine fluttered over it, peeling my eyelids open. I looked over my shoulder at Ulquiorra, who was looming above me. His hand hovered above my hip, daring to touch again. It did, and my eyes clashed into his again.

"The heart is in different areas of the body, too," he said, suddenly picking me up. The quick pull upwards made my head spin, and before I knew it, we were sitting again. Ulquiorra was seated on the couch, and my legs were on either side of his. My hands splayed across his flat chest. My eyebrows were near my hairline, I was sure. His hands were down by his sides, cupping my bent knees. He looked at me again, and I felt the tops of my ears turn crimson.

"This is… something two hearts do," it wasn't a question, and I licked my lips. "I looked it up." At this, I let out a nervous laugh. Looked up? The thought was hysterical, and I lightly imagined him reading a romance novel from the human world.

He pressed his nose to my neck, and I sharply inhaled. I hadn't expected this either… wasn't this a bit too sudden? He drew a breath, almost making me quiver. Then, there was a quick, soft feeling where my neck met my shoulder. Only when he pulled away could I tell it was a kiss. The area was still tingling where he had planted it, and I looked back and forth between his eyes. I lidded mine slightly, before reaching down. I wrapped my hand around his much larger one, leading it to the small of my back.

"Here," I instructed… though it wasn't from experience that I knew this. It seemed we had the same amount of romantic encounters: zero. We had another thing in common; we had to research some things in order to learn them. He nodded, moving in towards my neck again. This time, he opened his mouth, leaving a hot breath right over my collarbone. He placed a heavier kiss there, closing his eyes. I tilted my head to the side, unable to think much further than the next second with him. I just needed moment after moment with him.

That was what my fantasy had evolved into. The knight, desperate to prove his pure intentions to the maiden, seduces her. Then, how come I was the one leading him around like a small child?

Simple, he was probably intoxicated by the conjoining of his newest discovery: hearts.

He left a long, thick trail of kisses from shoulder to shoulder, as my dress had been zipped down to expose mid-cleavage. My mouth was dry, and I licked my lips again as he pulled away. Ulquiorra was indeed as I predicted: seemingly cast under a spell of hormones and new knowledge. I noted that I was in the same boat. Our noses touched, and our eyelashes got tangled from the close contact. The breaths between us were mingled, and then suddenly, we were on each other. The spasms shaking my body told me he had moved his hands up to my shoulders, tugging down the back of my dress. Each new inch of skin exposed to the air gave him new surface area to touch with his new heart.

Our lips were pressed so tightly, yet so gently together, like letters in a mailbox. The messages inside them were only available after you opened them, as Ulquiorra assumed too, as I felt his thin tongue poke the crease between my lips. I easily complied, wrapping my mouth around his soft muscle, meeting him in the middle with mine. He pressed his chest against my own, resting his hands on the backs of my knees. With every turn of my tongue, he would pull me down closer to him. His nibbles on my lip were making my head spin.

When we actually pulled away, I grabbed both of his hands and put them on my thighs. The top of my dress, still covering most of my breasts, was sagging in the back, revealing all the way down my spine.

"I… I don't think I'm doing it right-" I cut him off with an experimental nip on the ear. What was I doing?

"Don't think," it was almost an order, but I had to get this part of him satisfied, or else we would never make it out of this with our sanity. The smallest part of me was lost as well, wondering if I knew what the hell I was doing with this man. Then again, he hadn't run away yet, so I wasn't worried. We crashed our teeth together again, and I reached up to weave my hand in his hair. My other hand moved up to his hollow hole, and he pulled away.

"It's sensitive there," he warned, eyes flashing when I touched the inside with my fingers. It was cold and smooth, and I moved my warm hand over each part.

His deep groan shook through his chest and into my being, a sound I wasn't prepared to hear… or fall victim to. At that second, a strong sense of belonging overcame me, and I removed my hand. His heavy, broken exhale was the only thing I heard before stunned silence. I kissed the edge of the hole, and he froze like a trapped animal. I was pulled so close to him now, the quick beating of my heart was reverberating through his chest. Both of my hands were on his, sliding them up my thighs. Passing my hips, I guided him to my stomach. The soft skin there was still covered by fabric.

"Inoue-san," he said in a very quiet voice. "I hurt your own little plan, didn't I?" If there were a better way to kill the mood, it would have involved an explosion of some kind.

"It wasn't really a plan," I said, trying to hold back the emotion in my voice. "More of a… twisted fantasy." Something sparkled in his eyes for the shortest of moments… I knew if he wasn't a stone-cold killer, he would have laughed.

"In any case… my own ideas crushed yours. I apologize," he said, resting his head under my chin.


This was the only time I heard him apologize for anything, much less to me about something so little. I chuckled, the dried tears on my face suddenly lifting away in an invisible veil.

"It's okay, Ulquiorra-san," I said, still holding his hands to my stomach. He moved on his own now, slipping them upwards. They brushed against the undersides of my breasts before moving around them to my upper arms. He pulled the dress up with the slowest of movements, and I didn't stop him. Both of us were aware this wasn't the only time things would lead to this… nor would it be a rare occasion. He stood me up, one hand falling limp to my waist, the other spinning me around. He pushed his nose into the back of my hair, inhaling the scent of the shampoo they had given me. The fingers of his right hand laid a feather-light swipe to move my hair over my shoulder. He stood close, pressing his lips against the middle of my spine right before the zipper covered it. Up he went, laying butterfly kisses all the way up my back. With the last ones between my shoulder blades and under my hairline, I was once again fully in my Hueco Mundo dress.

But, when I looked down to my feet, I saw two sparkling shoes, and the skirt of a ballgown. I looked up at my knight, who was dressed down in a loose pair of pants and shirt. He raised my hand to softly kiss the knuckles, and I offered him the sweetest of smiles.

"You realize you have become very important for the development of my heart," he said, kissing my wrist next. I nodded, almost humming in delight as I looked at the sincere Espada in front of me. He kissed the smooth skin of my forearm, then on the crook of my elbow. He blew softly on each part before his lips met with it, and soon enough he was kissing my cheek. Maybe what he felt towards me wasn't love… but admiration, and a pinch of gratitude for gifting him with a new organ. Soon enough, he touched noses with me, staring deep into me with those large, green eyes. I ran a fingernail down one of his tear-tracks.

"Aa, if we can somehow get out of this trouble-" he cut me off with an arrogant throw of his hands into his pockets.

"I'll take care of it," he said, and suddenly the amount of curiosity and emotion from before was gone. In a flash, he had reverted to the original Ulquiorra.

But… wasn't that the one I had come to care for?

"Good luck," I said in a sweet voice, folding my hands on my lap as I took a seat on the couch. I had, as well, switched to the Inoue Orihime that everyone, including myself, supposedly knew. He nodded, shutting the door behind him. The last words I heard were a promise of a breakfast-time return. I grinned brightly, wrapping my arms quickly around myself.

My knight in shining armor had saved me from the first dragon, at least.

Holy flying fuck. Please review if you liked it, and if you didn't like it. Add it to your favourites if it especially inspired you or made you feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Tell me, should I add another part to this? To be completely honest, this started as an AiHime oneshot, but as soon as I got to the first fantasy scene… something inside me shattered and I had to make it Ulquihime. First lime I've written… hope I made it emotional/sensual/'hot'. :D

Yes, it's OOC. If you feel the need to reiterate this and tell me something I already know, you can review and say "AHEM, THIS WAS OOC, BITCH. LEARN TO CAPTURE THE CHARACTERS BETTER."