A/N: Really didn't want to do this but unfortunately it wouldn't leave me alone for three days straight and it was becoming a nuisance to my other fics. This is based upon that unmasked chapter that I found concerning Ulquiorra, before he became an arrancar/espada, only I've twisted it, so this would be an AU. Oh and I don't know exactly where this would take place, but I'm assuming sometime before the whole arrancar invasion incident possibly way before that. There may be some things a bit off but its just small details not worth putting a fuss over; a story's a story, ne?
Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach.
Not a rabbit but a void distortion of space.
Orihime hummed a catchy tune as she made her way through the streets to go back home from a day at school. Her bag was heavy with a single bulky book and a few pages worth of homework that was due sometime this week. She wasn't so enthusiastic about doing it particularly because some of it had to do with math which most people dread and others would find it intriguing. Two individuals automatically came to mind in the subject instantly making her small smile grow into a grin. Ichigo despite his intelligence in school wasn't too thrilled in math while Ishida was rather fast at it despite the two's family that would know of such subject considering they dealt with medical needs. No matter how difficult school became it served to make her feel like a second home where she would be around friends, the closest she'd ever have to a family ever since that day her brother died in an accident. Her grin never wavered as she continued to recall the events; everything that had happened in the past days of her childhood where it was just her and her brother was etched deeply in her mind so as not to ever forget what was so dear.
However, just as she was about to shut the door to her apartment and begin her homework she heard a light knock. Turning to face the entrance she found that instead of her best friend Tatsuki, it was Ichigo, her classmate whom she secretly had a crush on. Feeling slightly embarrassed that he would show up out of nowhere, she offered a kind smile. His presence, though despite his good nature seemed disturbing for but a mere moment; he almost never visited unless under certain circumstances. Brushing that aside she decided to greet him.
"Kurosaki-kun, what brings you here?" He smiled in turn at hearing her lively voice before glancing around as if there was something he had missed.
"Uh, well there's nothing wrong just that Urahara said that there was a lot of unusual hollow activity around here. You haven't felt anything around here have you?"
She thought about it for a moment, recalling recent events that may have occurred earlier and shook her head, none seemed out of the ordinary and she certainly hasn't seen any nearby hollows lurking around since the last one and that was a few weeks ago.
"No, everything has been fine around here." He sighed in relief that there was nothing but at the same time it unnerved him, Urahara wasn't one to joke about the safety of others, so there must have been something he missed which in turn worried Orihime.
"Well that's good. If you hear or see anything be sure to call me and don't head in there alone." With that the boy left with a wave and proceeded to go investigate further at the other part of town.
Well it was odd that there was suddenly an increase in hollow activity without her knowing it, but it wasn't all that surprising since she was still trying to get accustomed to her own powers that rested in the form of her precious hairpins; with time and more experience she would get better and be able to protect her friends and fight alongside them. Closing the door, Orihime continued to think about the situation or to be exact what the situation could be. If there were to be too many hollows then it would most certainly become a problem that would catch the attention of Soul Society and that was something that everyone would like to avoid.
She turned her attention back on the forgotten homework material. Since there was nothing yet occurring then there was nothing to worry about, all she could do at the moment was be alert for anything.
The afternoon soon became night and it was then that Orihime had finally finished her homework. She stretched her aching muscles that had stayed in one position for too long and had leaned forward with a content sigh. It wasn't late but it sure felt like it. She began to wonder if she should just take a nap now and eat dinner later, but all thought was quickly thrown out the window as a light pressure fell against her very soul.
Her eyes snapped wide open as she swiftly sat up and carefully assessed the weight of this burden. The reiatsu was not completely stifling but it was sure to be disturbing as it weighed upon others that were like her, others being her friends or other shinigami near the area. She stood, still in her uniform and dashed out the door to try and pinpoint where the pressure was coming from, it wasn't very difficult seeing as the cause of such commotion was a Menos Grande not too far.
Orihime gasped at its size, sure she's one before but seeing one so close to her without anyone was a bit much on her part. She didn't quite have a full grasp on her powers on offense which would leave her at a slight disadvantage; the easiest way of dealing with a hollow was to strike at its face, right where the mask was and at her height such a task was impossible and her capacity of killing intent would hardly leave a scratch on the thing.
Her best objective would be to call Ichigo, he would be able to handle this job, but the situation just went from bad to worse when another one opened up a portal to enter Karakura. Just as she was about to bolt in the direction where she was sure to find her friends there was a bright red light, a split second warning before she was able to stop in time to avoid a very painful hit to the body.
There was a cloud of dust and with a few broken segments of cement and rock from the street, there were no major injuries to her but a mere scrape of her shin from skidding to a stop in such a rush. She glanced up and found that the target of its attack was her, its circular eyes fixed upon her own with nothing but killing intent swirling within its very being. Determined to get away and minimize the threat she got back to her feet and rushed blindly to try and distract the beast.
And that was her fatal mistake. One that she would find more terrible than anything she ever thought could happen to her. By keeping her eyes fixed on the hollow she failed to keep in mind the open portal that hovered behind it and she never realized that the direction in which she followed went straight to it. The Menos itself didn't pay any attention to its surroundings trying instead to incinerate the girl with such an appealing soul; they both failed to notice one guard that was sure to get their given job done.
All Orihime could recall was the mournful cry of the Menos as its face was slashed straight across, its body looking as though it would fall backward only to have its knee collide against the ground; the wind it created was enough to knock Orihime off her feet and fall right below where the portal hovered. She gasped as she saw that it began to slowly close without a sound and it seemed like all would be well.
Ichigo had done what was expected of him, but he never counted on seeing Orihime confronting a Menos Grande head on. He jumped off the building he was standing on to reach her. All would've ended well then, had it not been for the boy's carelessness to ensure that the Menos was completely down for at that exact moment it had fired another red beam, one that it had charged beforehand, in their direction, effectively hitting close to its mark, the force of impact was enough to hurl them both off their balance.
Ichigo managed to regain his footing before landing so harshly against cold stone, Orihime on the other hand was not so fortunate as to even land on solid ground. The closing of the portal was slow with the power of the Menos sustaining its form, now that it was as good as dead the entrance was quick to close and repair the ripped space. Just as it had reached the bottom part Orihime's body had fallen inside.
Ichigo tried to go after her; however, the distorted space had closed leaving nothing in its wake.
A/N: This was just meant to be an introduction so it may be boring, but sometimes intros are. Its difficult starting off a story since it involves me to think way too hard which would result in the story being a sad sight. The second one will be more interesting since that's where Ulqui comes in.