Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach.
A little five year old was laughing happily as she danced around her big brother who was packing her lunch into a box for her upcoming field trip. Although Sora was happy that she would be going hiking for her first field trip and that she, along with her classmates, would be well supervised he couldn't help but feel a little worried about her. The teachers had said that he was welcome to join them but unfortunately he had work to go to and wouldn't be able to go. The thought of making her stay home didn't exactly sit right with him either, since she was so excited and seeing her face fall with disappointment and the possibility of tears just tore his heart at the mere thought and thus he had given in.
"Orihime, make sure you stay in sight of the teachers and don't wander from the others, ok?" He said as he knelt down to place her lunch box in her backpack.
"I will!" She giggled as she anticipated all the new things she would see and playing with her friends. She had been waiting for this trip for a while and when she got her brother's permission her face just beamed with happiness.
They both walked to the school and when she saw that the bus was already there and her classmates were all lined up to go, Orihime let go of her brother's hand and ran to get in line next to her friend, Tatsuki who was also excited about the trip. As the children continued to chatter, Sora spoke with the teacher about the normal things and such concerning such things that involved an accident or other unforeseen occurrences.
As soon as everything was settled and the students were given certain instructions on what to do and what not to do, they finally climbed into the bus and went off to their destination that wasn't really far from the town. Leaving Sora to watch the bus until it could no longer be seen. He sighed and rubbed his temple hoping that nothing would happen to his dear sister while away.
The forest was calm as a few rays of sunlight seeped through the gaps of the towering trees. There was one particular tree that was larger than the rest and at the base of the tree was an entrance that was big enough to house a lion, but what was lying in it was certainly no lion but a very rare looking panther, dozing peacefully in the safety of the hollow tree. Above him there was a cavern with the entrance blocked by boulders both big and small, to the point where the only creatures that would be able to enter were either rodents or something like a fox; however, if it was to escape the harsh weather for shelter, no animal would want to enter such an area if it wished to stay alive.
The panther's eyes suddenly shot open and with quick movements stood with its head high and ears back; humans had entered the territory.
"Hey look up there, Hime-chan!" Tatsuki pointed above her at a tree to a monkey that watched them with curious eyes all the while munching on a fruit. There were other cute animals as well; the squirrels, the brightly colored birds and interesting insects all around them but most were hiding among the trees and bushes and though they didn't seem all that threatening they heard the teacher warning them not to touch or bother them. She knew Orihime wouldn't do anything but Tatsuki was another matter. The girl was no trouble maker and she was well behaved, but sometimes she would do things on her own and that was not a good thing when you're only a child and most children tend to think that the forest was no different than a playground, a very big playground.
They listened and joined the others as they continued their little walk on a trail that was perfectly safe. There were no reports of anything major, and the animals that were known to be living in the area were harmless and normally left people alone when they came along. The trail was just a huge circle that would eventually lead the class back from where they started and that was where the teacher would say it was lunchtime.
To the teacher's dismay many of the children wanted to take their lunch break right where they were and after thinking it over carefully in her head she had allowed them to do so. They set up a large blanket and ate their lunch as they continued to laugh and talk about the animals and plants they had seen. Things were going so well and Orihime was having fun playing a game of catch with a ball that she had brought with her, until something had caught her eye. In the distance where there were a few flowers and tree branches covered in vines it looked like there was a cat that was watching them. She loved cats and couldn't help but take a few steps toward it.
"Wait Hime-chan, we're not supposed to get off the trail." Tatsuki called making her quickly turn around. She was going to listen and get back to their game but had tripped over a vine making the ball fall from her grasp and roll over the bushes and down a small hill. She didn't think twice before getting up and following it, deaf to the calls of her friends. That ball was her only one and she knew that if she lost it she would be terribly sad; she didn't want to make her brother buy her another either, it was special to her anyway.
When she finally got close enough to grab it she gasped. There was indeed a cat, but last she knew, cats were not the size of a couch. This one was big and it towered over her; big blue eyes stared back at her wide grey ones. The ball was momentarily forgotten as it slipped once more from her grasp and bounced past the beast; the moment she let it go the cat bared its fangs and let out a low growl.
Without thinking she bolted for a way out, darting past the beast and past a few trees where the monkeys and squirrels scurried to run out of the girl's sights and away from the cat that was not far behind her. It didn't even bother to run only walking with fast movements and growling lightly as it kept its gaze fixed on the girl.
Orihime was terrified as she ran as fast as her legs allowed her to go; she knew her brother warned her about straying away from the others but it was only to grab her ball that didn't even go that far away. Now that she had come face to face with an animal that could potentially harm her or possibly kill her. Tears welled up in her eyes as she desperately tried to find her way back to her friends and teacher, she made several turns and went under a bunch of low branches and waving vines. Her chest hurt and soon she came to a large tree; she stopped to momentarily take in her surroundings and as soon as she realized she was lost the tears rained down from her eyes; small whimpers escaped her lips as she tried to find someone or spot the beast that had frightened her.
There was no sign of either and it only served to make her paranoid with fear, thinking that the beast might pop out of nowhere and hurt her and there would be no one to help her. By now the others should have noticed that something was wrong but she didn't know if they knew where she was.
"Tatsuki-chan!" She called but there was no reply; scared out her mind and worried that another big animal may find her she began walking trying not to make any sound as best she could but she couldn't stop the hiccups from her weeping or the small whimpers.
After what felt like hours she came to a hill that wasn't all that steep but it proved a little troublesome when she tried to go up; she remembered that it was a hill that her ball rolled down of but she couldn't remember if it was this big.
She found that this only lead to a small cave and thinking that it would help her in avoiding the cat, she crawled in and though it was dark she managed to find a comfortable spot that wasn't hard and was actually quite soft like a blanket. She sat on it and leaned against the wall of the cave and watched as the light from the opening of the cavern began to gradually fade and brighten with each passing cloud. Exhausted from all that had happened she felt her eyes become heavy and her mind became hazy as sleep loomed over her. Before she could completely fall under its spell she felt something shift beneath her and at first she thought it was nothing until she felt something thin glide by her leg and she let out a shriek, jumping up from her sitting position and bumping into another wall making her graze her head a little. Even though it was just a small graze, it still hurt and bled a little.
Orihime shut her eyes to try and bear the stinging pain and slowly opened them to glance around the darkness, through her watering eyes she caught sight of a pair of bright yellow cat-like eyes staring back at her. She flinched when they blinked and thinking it was a regular cat this time she spoke to it.
"Are you a nice kitty?" She asked in a trembling voice.
The eyes blinked again, looking as though it were trying to comprehend her words.
"Kitty…?" It was deep voice that resembled a man's and it reminded her of her brother which only made her feel less afraid. At the sound of his voice she smiled and let out a light laugh.
"You can talk!" The eyes blinked again but this 'cat' didn't speak another word, it only continued to stare at her with that piercing gaze and nothing more. Orihime on the other found those eyes to be extremely interesting and when she reached her hands out to try and see if she could find the 'cat' she felt a big but soft hand grab her wrist and for a moment she got scared. Those eyes, however, didn't look threatening but they did look down at her small ones and she could feel that another hand had touched her own moving her fingers around and though it was pitch black inside the cave he could see every bruise and small cuts on them as clear as day.
"Mr. Kitty, can you help me find my friends?" Orihime asked, remembering that she was lost and that she had to get back as soon as possible, fearing that she would be left behind.
"Your friends…the humans?" He asked narrowing his eyes, he knew this was nothing but a mere human child with not enough sense that she just may be in more danger especially running into him of all creatures. He let go of her hands and turned away from her, he did not want to waste his time with a crying child. Orihime on the other hand thought he was going to leave her behind and had tried to grab his hand again but with the shrouding darkness she was grasping nothing which was the whole point…
Until she found his tail and tugged on it.
"Please, Mr. Kitty?" She begged feeling that she may be on the verge of tears again.
"My name is not 'Kitty', little girl." He growled turning slightly to face her; his eyes that were at eye level with her own seemed to float higher when in actuality he merely rose to his full height which was quite tall.
"Let go of my tail and be on your way, I have no time to waste on a mere child." He said quietly growing annoyed with this persistent girl, but even though his voice held a clear warning she didn't seem to notice as she just kept her grip; hugging it to her chest.
"Please? I promise I'll repay you!' She begged, holding on tighter onto his tail. The yellow eyes fell on her again and regarded her for a moment and when it seemed he wouldn't help her she began to cry again, letting his tail go and tried to follow the light of the entrance to continue her way back.
"Ulquiorra." The voice said loud enough for Orihime to hear and she looked back in confusion meeting the intense gaze of the creature. "That is my name, not kitty." He went up to her and pushed her out through the small opening where the light of the sun blinded her. Her eyes quickly closed and squinted to try and minimize the light. When she looked back she could see a black clawed hand point to the other side of the cave where there was a loose boulder.
"Push that away and I'll be able to help you, but remember your promise, girl." Obediently she did so with a bit of some trouble but she managed and watched as it rolled away not long after she heard a rumble, when she turned she saw that by removing that simple boulder made all the others collapse into a small land slide with her in the center of it.
She was frozen in place, she knew she was in danger but it just wouldn't process in her limbs. Just as a boulder rolled from atop others into her path, a strong hand gripped the back of her shirt and yanked her away; everything just seemed to be moving as if time had slowed as it skimmed past her, missing her by an inch.
As soon as the crashing of the rocks died down Orihime looked down to see that she was no longer on her feet but she could see feet that definitely didn't belong to her, beside them seemed to be the tail she had clutched onto before. She looked up to see that what she thought was a cat was something else entirely different.
"You're a bat!" She smiled as she saw that those broad wings of his stretched out fully to relieve some of the tension that had built up from being cramped up in that cave for so long. Strands of hair moved in front of his face ad reached up at him to try and touch those horns protruding from the side of his head but he was much too tall to reach.
His eyes glared at her; though technically she wasn't wrong but when it came from her it just seemed different.
"Do you know where my friends are?" Ulquiorra looked away from her and inhaled the air. The scent of humans was strong; he knew where they were. Silently he moved her so that she was now lying against his chest with his arm below her, keeping her in place. Taking that as a sign that he did, Orihime wrapped her arms around his neck just as she did whenever her brother would carry her to bed.
They weren't far but Ulquiorra would rather not be found out by more of them, last time he was found, he was left to starve and rot in the darkness of the cavern. He was not one for pointless revenge but should those who banished him cross his path they would no longer be among the living. Leaning forward he dashed out from the open and darted through the maze of the forest, the scent of the humans growing stronger but just as he was about to make a sharp turn, something had pounced on him.
Orihime heard the terrible roar and in the next moment she found that she or her bat friend were no longer right side up but falling to the ground. She screamed when she recognized the panther from before, or rather the fangs that looked as though they would have closed around her face had it not been for Ulquiorra who had kicked it away.
With a whack of his tail the panther was pushed aside making way for him to jump and glide to a safe distance away from the range of the cat.
Orihime could hear several angry growls, roars and hisses as though it were talking from below.
"Your friends would be in trouble if we go to them." Even as he said this he continued going towards their direction until Orihime pulled at a strand of his hair.
"Wait, no! Don't go there! Take me home!" She insisted with tugs, affectively annoying him. He didn't exactly know where she lived considering there were a bunch of buildings and it would truly be a pain to walk around in broad daylight where anyone could see him.
He thought of just letting her go and remain free but that was soon discarded, for what reason he did not know. If it were some other human that had stumbled upon his domain then there'd be nothing left of them; simple as that. This girl, however, was different; he couldn't tell what it was but his instincts told him she was not to be harmed in any way.
"There!" She pointed to her house where her brother was just about to open the front door. Ulquiorra thought it best to wait till he went in, unfortunately before he could come to a stop near the house Orihime had pulled violently onto his horn making him turn swiftly and crash right into the window of Orihime's bedroom. There were a series of crashes and other loud noises.
When Sora had rushed upstairs with a blunt object in his hand, he nearly had a heart attack at the sight. There within all the rubble of toys and broken furniture was his dear little sister sitting on top of what seemed to be a man, with horns and oddly colored eyes, half naked…he fainted dead away. Orihime climbed down from Ulquiorra's chest allowing him to toss aside a piece of heavy wood that was formerly attached to the window pane.
"Nii-chan, I'm home!" Was all the young girl said as she ran up to her unconscious brother, leaving Ulquiorra to lie against the floor of her room with glass shards all around him. He knew this girl was trouble from the start but he never it would be this bad. He merely sat up and stood to watch the girl attempt to wake her brother in vain; he was out cold.
When he awoke, it was late in the afternoon and the first thing he saw was his dear sister staring down at him in curiosity.
"Orihime!" He scooped her up in his arms and rubbed his cheek against her own, happy that all was well…for the most part. There on the other side of the room was that same odd creature that had made him faint earlier.
"Orihime, what is that?"
"That's my new friend!" She answered happily, walking right up to Ulquiorra who only glared at her brother with those piercing eyes, not really caring that the young girl patted at his head; he tried to get away before her brother awoke but when she saw that he was leaving she began to beg him not to go even going as far as to grab his tail again. After hours of trying to get her off him, he succumbed to her childish commands and stayed.
Sora sighed as this was quit a bit for him to take in, first he came home and heard a crash from upstairs, thinking it was robbers of something and when he got there it turns out to be his dear little sister hanging around what looked like a monster from a horror film! Honestly he didn't know what was worse; mere humans with weapons or a creature with claw and horns resembling a human. He looked at his sister with wary eyes as she clung onto Ulquiorra, trying to attach a ribbon on his horn.
"Can I keep him?" Was all that came from the five year old as he tried to keep his sanity from escaping him.
A/N: A result of having zaboomafoo (have no clue if I spelled that right and I don't wanna check) stuck in the head and this just had to be written down; don't know why. Although I do have an idea of how to continue this but I don't know…