Numb and Hollow

Chapter 14

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"Miss Orihime is currently collecting her original clothes and belongings that were initially confiscated upon her arrival." He couldn't have his prisoners bring in unwanted trackers or listening devises after all.

"Cool. So how long you recon she's gonna be?"

"Not much longer I believe Little One." He did have Grimmjow fetch her after all

While they were waiting for the girl to arrive Aizen was entertained by Stark sitting Infra on his lap and falling asleep while keeping the Little One trapped andUlquiorra gradually moving closer to the smaller Hollow while Infra indulged the two dominates and their antics.

"PUT ME DOWN! I CAN WALK ON MY OWN!"

"I WILL WHEN WE GET THERE BITCH!"

"DON'T CALL ME THAT WHISKERS!"

Ah, Grimmjow and the girl had finally arrived.

"What're you two arguing about?" the fighting didn't seem to faze Infra in the slightest. But that simple question drew the two arguing individual to focus on poor little Infra.

"She's too bloody SLOW! Wanting to preen like…like Nnoitora!"

"It's not me! He's way too IMPATIENT! He didn't want to let me change!"

Not to self; never leave these two alone together again; they were both too good at screaming. While Infra took the brunt of the argument it was clear he was growing impatient.

"OK THAT'S ENOUGH!" hearing the normally cheerful Infra raise his voice silenced the other two instantly. "Let's just get this show on the road. Orihime come here." Guiding her to a seat he sat them facing each other while holding hands.

"Take deep breaths and try to relax as much as possible." Watching her relax Infra started to worm his way into her mind; being sure to leave a mental rope leading him back should he get lost r caught in a trap. Before he knew it he was falling deeper and deeper…

-Orihime's Mindscape-

Orihime's mind was laid out like a complex compound of buildings and gardens…it'd take too long to search and he didn't know how patient the others would be while he worked…first things first.

"Point-Me Factual Knowledge!"

Unlike in the physical plains when he used the 'Point-Me' spell in a person's mindscape it basically teleported him into where he needed to be to find what he was looking for; when he had used the spell to find her 'Factual Knowledge' the spell teleported him to a room with a giant tree bearing all kinds of different fruit; a Tree of Knowledge. Quickly transferring a copy of the tree into his own mind he set about completing his next task.

"Point-Me Natural Abilities!"

Arriving in a room with a metal and stone tree with lush vines running along the walls Infra noticed Orihime's abilities were held suspended in glass orbs much like her knowledge tree held knowledge in each fruit. Quickly transferring a copy of the tree into his own mind he noticed instantly that he hadn't copied an ability that felt like what he supposed he felt from when she used her Shun Shun Rikka near him once…

"Point-Me Shun Shun Rikka!"

Instead of being transported to another room like he was expecting he was instead pulled in the direction of a water fountain he hadn't noticed hiding behind the tree he had just copied. Looking in he found six little…things…sleeping on the bottom among the reeds in beds of crystal. Quietly stepping back he surrounded the pretty fountain in a barrier and just copied whatever was in the barrier. Lowering the barrier Infra spun on the spot much like he would do when Apparating, leaving her mind much quicker than he had arrived.

Arriving back into the departure room Infra activated the portkeys he had planted on himself, Stark and Ulquiorra prior to going under before anyone but him noticed he had finished, tightening his grip on Orihime so he wouldn't lose her during the trip he couldn't help letting a cheeky smirk grace his lips as he sneaked a quick peek at Aizen before being whisked away. The look of surprise on his face would entertain him for months!

Landing in a local park Infra was quick to Apparate him and Orihime outside the local clinic he had found earlier after erasing her memory of her stay in Hueco Mundo and the Espada in general manually, throwing in a small sleep spell for good measure.

"EXCUSE ME? CAN SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME? THIS LADY JUST COLLAPSED!"

Hearing feet pounding on the floorboards he came face to face with a lightly shaven man with short black hair with a familiar orange mopped teen trailing behind.

"What happened?"

"Orihime!" seeing the red head look in his direction while the other man started on Orihime he answered the silent demand for information while maintaining a panicked expression.

"I found her collapsed a couple of streets over in a park…is she going to be ok?" watching as the doctor checked Orihime over he noticed the red head was getting jittery and worked up…judging by Orihime's description of her friends this must be Ichigo the Sub-Reaper. He seemed to be as temperamental as Grim if his freak-out was anything to go by. Leaving after one last glance Infra returned to where he had left the other two stranded; expecting to return to an empty clearing only to find them still there waiting, looking a bit lost to him was not what he was expecting, but still cute.

"Hope you weren't waiting long!" drawing their attention they started to head towards him.

"Where have you been?" demanded Ulquiorra, he didn't like being abandoned when he was unable to track his partner. He had lost Grimmjow too many times to count when they were on recon missions.

"Just been taking care of the Orihime problem…So who wants to see their new living quarters!"

After about thirty seconds of just being stared at Infra just sighed and Apparated the three of them to his new apartment where they would be housed as guests. He was lucky enough that the apartment came fully furnished; all he had to add was two beds in the spare room for the other two. Turning to the others he decided he wanted to take a nap.

"You two got the bedroom with the silver wolf and incubus over the door while mine is the one with the gold rose. See ya in an hour." As he made his way into his room he threw up a number of wards not only on his room but on the apartment in general. Hearing a thump reminiscent to clean glass Infra couldn't help letting out a giggle as Stark discovered he would not be able to sleep with him now that he had his own bed to sleep in.

0-0-0

After walking into the barrier protecting Infra's room Stark turned to Ulquiorra, wondering what to do now. Seeing him watching him Ulquiorra just waltzed right into their assigned room, selected what bed he wanted, pulled a book out of nowhere and began to read…maybe he'd take a nap too?

0-0-0

Waking up a while later to the sound of his stomach Infra looked to the clock and saw it was time for dinner. Leaving his room Infra popped his head in the others room to find Stark sleeping; no surprise there, and Ulquiorra reading a book he had seen in the library the other day.

"Is it good?"

"It…is an acceptable read. What are you doing?"

"I'm gonna be making some tuna patties and bubble & squeak for dinner, you want any?"

"…Yes."

Leaving for the kitchen he remarked to himself that he actually liked the country industrial look in his kitchen, and that Ulquiorra reminded him somewhat of a character he had seen in 'Bride of the Water God' when he had been rummaging around in Stark's manga again…or maybe it was 'Demon Love Spell'? Setting about making the patties first he became so absorbed in his work he didn't notice the sexy incubus watching him intently from the doorway. Setting the raw patties aside he knew he may have made too much but they could have them as leftovers sometime tomorrow. Grabbing potato, pumpkin, onion and mixed herbs Infra noticed a quarter cauliflower sitting innocently among his vegetables…he could cook it and throw some tasty cheese on it…sure! Cutting the potato and pumpkin into small pieces he threw both into a pot of boiling water for five minutes while he sliced the evil onions and threw them on the pan with the strained potato and pumpkin, throwing some olive oil and butter over them he gave them a quick stir and turned to the cauliflower; he just threw it in the pot the potato and pumpkin had previously occupied with some pepper and mixed herbs. Noticing the Bubble & Squeak was almost cooked he threw a few mixed herbs on and with one last stir as well as throwing the patties on a separate pan. Seeing everything coming along nicely he set about setting the table; almost dropping the plates he was carrying when he realized he had an audience, causing him to blush.

"Hi"

"Hello. Would you like some assistance?" the blush on the young Hollow was certainly what one would call 'cute'. The way he seemed to dance through the kitchen as he cooked was very…alluring…as well as the way he had handled the Prima Esparda's need to steal his bed earlier on.

"Yes please…would you like to set the cutlery?"

Moving passed the suddenly bashful Hollow Ulquiorra made his way to where he had noticed Infra to be collecting his cooking implements from, but when he opened the draw he found utensils he could barely imagine anyone eating with

"One draw up" glancing up he noticed the blush was fading and that Infra was now sporting a cheeky grin, looking back down he opened the draw indicated to reveal much more realistic eating utensils; what was the arrangement required for eating utensils again? Seeing Ulquiorra's predicament from the doorway to their bedroom Stark decided to humour the currently lost Hollow so they could eat quicker. He had grown quite fond of his Pups cooking over the past week. Though he was annoyed at being sealed off from Infra's bed he would worm his way in just like he had done the last time he was locked out.

"We just need three sets of knifes, spoons and forks. Nothing complicated about that" the glare he received was also worth it, but he noticed Ulquiorra was only directing it to him when Infra wasn't looking…

Before they knew it Infra had set the table without them noticing through their little staring contest and the smell coming from the small six seater table was mouth-watering.

The chatter at the table wasn't as…enthusiastic as when Infra entertained Grimmjow but it was comfortable nether the less. Stark was simply eating and keeping an eye on Ulquiorra, while Ulquiorra and Infra discussed human stupidity and then debated the motives behind each act…it was really quite scary how easily Infra had negated Ulquiorra insistence on emotions not being real with such a simply complex physiological debate.

Before long it was time for bed, according to Infra anyway, so all three inhabitants forwarded on into their own beds…well Stark did after getting zapped by Infra's wards again…

A/N: I'll be stopping updates for a while to study for my HSC exams.