It was terrible, having to float within the already thin line between life and death. How cruel of a joke for the universe to play on us - we Arrancars were never meant to completely die off. Once we were formed, body and conciousness merging, we existed for the eternity, the end. If there was a way for us to cease to exist, I had next to no clue what that was.
How incredible was that Hueco Mundo, seemingly endless desolate of start white sand, was teeming in life in the smallest crevices between the sand dunes. Weaker Hollows, ranging from beetle-tiny ones to enormous, good-for-nothing trash, thrived in the cloak of silence the everlasting night of this world. I had never known that before, having been preoccupied with other occurances. Like her. But once my body had disintegrated into the wind, those weaker hollows had claimed my shattered reiatsu, pieces of their thousands of minds flowing into mine. Did it drive me insane? Maybe it did, maybe it did not. There was no way for me to find out.
I was digging a nest for my youngs, tens of feet under the surface of the white sand. I was perching on top of one of the crystalline trees, body tense in anticipation of danger. I was howling in pain, having lost two of my limbs. I was soaring through the sky, the shine of the white moon swallowing me whole.
I didnt' have a body. Only a presence that hung about nowhere in particular.
It was frustrating forced to look into countless minds all at once. To feel all their emotions coursing through their bloodless veins, I was utterly confused. Hollows didn't have any emotions whatsoever? Fucking bullshit. There was no way that piece of information could be more wrong. They felt. They wept. They celebrated. That was emotion, doubtless.
And I could feel her, somewhere out there. A single hollow who had consumed a part of me, had summoned what courage it had to leap over the Garganta. The minute it had breathed in the air of the world opposite of it, I knew. I knew. She was there. And she knew too, somehow, that I had stepped into exist in the same plain of universe as her. I might as well have screamed in her face my arrival.
The hollow whimpered in confusion. Somehow, I had managed to take full control of its body, leaping lightening-fast from rooftop to rooftop in her direction. Good thing it was such an insignificant dot of reiatsu - otherwise, a specific shinigami in the area would have sought me out already. I didn't want that. I didn't want a fight. I just wanted to be closer to her presence. Just a second longer, just give me a second. Just let me be. Just for now.
I was there. Her presence was the strongest here. It filled me up, lighting every part of me with a foreign emotion that I've felt once before in my existance. All the worries vanished from my mind. The prospect of having to hover in nothingness for the rest of my foreverlasting existance didn't matter. Sense of calm descended down onto me, and I let out a huff of breath. Then I breathed back in, deeper than I had ever tried, wanting to capture the scent in the air and etch into the blank black canvas of my mind.
She was here, and she was here now. Nothing else mattered.
The foreign emotion. It enveloped every part of me, stronger than ever. It was different from the sense of calm. It was warm, but not in a sense of splatters of blood, spilled by one of my enemies or in rare occasions, me. Fetid hot roars of lesser hollows didn't match either. Tingling. It felt... simply nice.
I let out the breath I've been holding without me realizing it. The warm emotion stayed.
I - or me in the body of the hollow I've been taken over - claws at the center of my chest, where the hole used to be. This body had one through its lower abdomen, but that made no difference. I could feel the void through the white skin, one that used to swallow me whole at times. It didn't anymore - it was filled with that foreign emotion instead.
A dark tint crept up that warmness. I couldn't stay. I couldn't let her see me. I shouldn't have come here - I had no right. I had no right to just barge into her world, however slightly. She didn't belong with me. She belonged in the patch of sunlight, of frivolous emotions, trust and hope. I belonged in the shadows, the voids, the emptiness.
I couldn't stay.
I had to go.
She couldn't see me.
I had to go.
I didn't belong.
Suddenly, a window slid open, one house away. Her presence grew stronger, if that was even possible.
I froze. I had to go. Before I... I..
She leaned forward into the night, taking a deep breath of the chilly air. Lusterous, tangerine locks cascaded down onto the front of her body, softly rustling in the breeze. Her eyes opened, silver orbs glinting in the dark. Inquisitive. Baffled. Yes, she knew I was here. But she didn't know why. I had to keep it that way. I couldn't stay.
The foreign feeling clenched in the void of my imagination. It intensified. It terrified me. But it was addictive, and I didn't want to let go. The sight of her made me forget how to move my limbs.
She leaned forward even more, turning her head left and right searching for something. Me. She had that vulnerable looks in those sterling eyes of hers. The same look she gave me as I faded into the wind, a hand reaching out to me. A hand that I never managed to reach back to.
Her gaze landed on me. Our eyes met and the foreign feeling was now choking me whole.
I had to go.
I felt exposed - my soul laid out, bare and naked in front of that gaze. It wasn't a pleasant sensation, but I didn't want to let it go.
I would have given anything in the universe to just to freeze everything in that moment forevermore, just her and me, eyes locked. But all I had to offer was my soul - not even, a lingering presence. I doubted it worth much.
I couldn't stay.
I had to go.
I forced the feeling inside the empty cavity of me shatter. Frustrating how much willpower it took for me to make that happen. Weak. I should've run off already. I needed to keep out of sight. I had to go. I needed to go.
I sucked myself out of the hollow, and it oh how it didn't waste a second lingering around. It shot into the night sky in her opposite, terrified squeaks filling the night sky. Terrified of the phenomenon that had just happened to it, I supposed.
Distance started to grow between her and the tiny speck of me embedded into the sould of that hollow. I bit my lips - or rather, imagined myself doing it. I didn't have a body anymore. I had to come to accept that. Now I knew that I could steal into a hollow's body if I wished to, but I didn't wish to. My existance shouldn't interfere with the world. I needed to disappear. I had to go.
I pictured the stark black-and-white contrast of my world, and I was there immediately. Shine of the white moon swallowed me whole. I was dying, what life left of me seeping into the white crystals of the ground, another hollow hovering over me, aiming for the fatal strike. I was still perching on top of the crystalline trees, still tense in anticipation. I nestled snugly with my youngs, nest finished and my family safe - at least for the moment.
I belonged in the endless stark hopelessness of Hueco Mundo. She belonged in her world of brilliance and happiness. We couldn't be farther apart in the spectrum of universes. It tore me apart, and the foreign feeling gnawed at me, pierced every single element of my conciousness, and the pain, oh the pain.
I had to stop existing. Just let me fade to nothingness. Just free from the eternity of torment, just free me from this shattering panes of warmth that choked me from every side.
I didn't know how. I didn't know if there even was a way.
It was terrible, having to float within the already thin line between life and death.
A/N: Please don't judge too harshly - an unreasonably extremely random tribute to UlquiHime. Yes, I ship it. The idea slammed into me head-on in the middle of the night, and I HAD to let it go.
Happy Valentine's Day, I guess.