Hey everyone! This is a little UlqHime piece I wrote because I've been hella inspired by the Neon Trees lately and some of their songs off their newest album remind me of UlqHime.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I HATE songfics but I'm not against fics inspired by songs. Does that make sense? Gee, I hope so.

Anyway, the song that inspired this piece is called "Close to You" by Neon Trees and I strongly suggest giving it a listen as a companion to this story.

Other than that, I don't have much else to say other than I've already started work on a sequel to this piece (also inspired by another Neon Trees song off the same album) and should hopefully be finished with it soon! I also have some other UlqHime stuff in the works so look for that in the future as well. Now enjoy and thanks for reading!


He stared at her quietly, his mind deep in thought. His eyes drifted over her figure; drawn in tight like an infant huddled into itself yet still with some fluidity to her form. Her thick, warm locks wrapped around her shoulders as though embracing her in her moment of vulnerability. Her eyes were shut tight and her brow was crinkled in the most peculiar expression he had ever seen. He stepped nearer to take a closer look at her.

For a while, his mind had been plagued with endless questions about the woman. What was it about her that made her valuable to Aizen when she was so easily disposed of? What was it about her that had caused her friends to blindly place their lives on the line just to rescue her? What was it about her that made her capable of being so expressionistic when he himself found no need to express such passion? What was it about her that made her weak and yet still seem so very strong?

What was it about her that made her so… interesting to him?

He took a hesitant seat on the cushioned surface, wary of waking her though he knew her to be a heavy sleeper. She shifted slightly and a bolt of something akin to fear shot through him as she did so. He held his position, her sudden movement paralyzing him. He didn't dare move and risk that he might disturb her further.

He sat watching her, utterly petrified by the thought that her eyes might flutter open at any moment and he would be caught staring at her.

Minutes passed by in absolute silence before he felt able to relax. He had thankfully not disturbed her slumber.

He felt satisfied with himself. He had been working up to this moment for days. Two days prior, he had only been able to approach her. One day prior, he had been able to sit beside her for one full minute. And today…

Today, he would touch her.

He reached out slowly, his hand unsteady as it drew closer to her face. Her flesh was mere inches from his fingertips, the thought of finally touching her skin stirring something strange within him. He held his breath to steady his hand and forced his reach closer but at the last second he averted his hand and instead scooped up a lock of her hair. He rubbed it between his thumb and index finger slowly, taking note of how soft it was. His own hair was coarse and lacked luster but hers reminded him of running fine silk between his fingers. He brought the ribbon of hair closer to his eyes to examine it and he noticed with surprise that it carried with it a faint hint of the sweet scent of honey. He brought the lock of hair closer to his nose and inhaled slowly before carefully replacing the hair where it had previously fallen around her face.

He peered down at her. There was no reaction to the sensation of the hair touching her face, not even a twitch. He stared at her for a long while, wavering back and forth between whether or not he should continue further with his exploration.

After much internal deliberation, he hesitantly pressed his fingers against her cheek. It was soft and warm and gave way easily to the pressure of his touch. He felt what he imagined to be excitement within him upon realizing that he had finally reached the point that he felt comfortable in touching her.

For too long his curiosity of why she interested him so much had plagued him. At this level of examination, he would surely be able to discover how and why.

Her flesh was not anything extraordinary. It was true that it was unlike anything he had ever felt but it was far inferior in every way to his Hierro. He let his fingers trace down her jawline to her chin, finding that the flesh there was tighter and less malleable but still weak in comparison with his own. He trailed his fingers upward slowly until they reached her lips. They were overwhelmingly soft and seemingly very fragile so he took extra care to be gentle as he brushed over them in curiosity.

Often times he would find that as he spoke to her, his eyes would drift here. When she would respond to him verbally he would watch intently when her lips would move to speak his name. They were one of the few things about her that he found himself inexplicably drawn to. He didn't understand it. They were not much different from his own lips. True, hers were fuller and more delicate than his; but they were mere lips, were they not?

Even now as he removed his fingers from them, he found he could not tear his eyes away. The soft pink hue matched the tint of her cheeks and drew attention to them even more so. He tried to force his mind elsewhere so he quickly placed his hand carefully against her throat. He felt the beat of her pulse against his fingertips, the rhythm of it moving in time with her shallow breaths. He watched the rise and fall of her chest in interest. She seemed entirely calm and at ease.

How was it that she was able to rest so completely at peace? Could it have been that she was unafraid of being harmed by them? Could it be that she trusted them?

He moved his fingers from her throat and reached down, grabbing her hand and turning it palm up. He ran his index and middle finger up the fragile flesh of her palm and noticed that he could also feel her pulse here. He stared at his hand against her own, the sight somehow fascinating him in a way he couldn't grasp.

He was so absorbed in the sight that he didn't notice the slight elevation in her pulse or the fact that her eyes had flickered open. It was only when she had inhaled sharply and her fingers twitched against his that he turned his mortified gaze to her face. He stared down at her with wide, round eyes but she only stared back at him from under heavy eyelids.

A small smile crossed her face before she breathed his name on a soft whisper. Her fingers curled around his and she let out a small sigh before closing her eyes once more.

He stared down at her in disbelief for a long while. Her breathing had returned to normal and her fingers had fallen limp. After he was quite certain that she had returned to sleep, he withdrew his hand from hers and stood slowly in an effort not to wake her further. He walked swiftly to the door and exited the room, pressing his back against the outside wall as he exhaled silently.

"Good morning, Ulquiorra!" Orihime said in a cheery tone as the Espada entered her room with a tray full of food in his hands.

Ulquiorra avoided Orihime's gaze as he sat the tray down quietly. "There is no such thing as morning in Hueco Mundo. You should know that by now."

Orihime shrugged. "I know, but still. I've been asleep until now so it's like morning." She stood slowly and stretched, walking curiously over to the tray of food. "It smells delicious."

Ulquiorra turned away from Orihime and started back toward the door. "I'll return for the tray after you've had time to eat."

"I had a strange dream about you last night." Orihime said softly.

Ulquiorra froze in his steps, his eyes widening in shock. He didn't dare look back at her as she continued to speak in a quiet, gentle voice.

"You came to visit me, like you were checking up on me or something. You had a concerned look on your face." Orihime turned her gaze to the back of Ulquiorra's head. She watched him for a reaction but he didn't budge. He didn't even do so much as twitch a muscle. She let out a tiny laugh and shook her head slowly. "But why would you do that? What a silly dream."

Ulquiorra stared at the ground below him, unmoving. He didn't know how to react or what to say. Did she really believe it to be a dream or did she know that it wasn't and want to see his reaction? After a moment he let out a small sigh and continued toward the door. "A very silly dream indeed. Enough chatter, woman. You need to eat."

Orihime nodded with a smile as she watched Ulquiorra exit her room. She let out a small sigh and turned her gaze to the moon shining brightly through the window.

Ulquiorra closed the door behind him and pressed his back to the outside wall. He closed his eyes and listened quietly to the click and clang of silverware against plates, his curiosity about the woman still plaguing every bit of him.

What was it about her that made her so… wonderful to him?