Author's Notes: Long time no write. My muse had gone underground, and poor lilarin has been waiting for an update on this present for months. So here it is.
This chapter was inspired by a conversation between myself and Walis. I don't even remember how we got on this topic, but I was laughing my ass off, and all I could think of was how funny it would be for Orihime and Grimmjow to have similar conversation. Hence the second half of the chapter.
Hope you as a reader found it worth the wait. Thanks to all who reviewed and please let me know what you thought of the chapter.
Chapter Thirteen - I was not put on this earth to entertain you.
Ulquiorra ran with the girl tucked securely in his arms. The moment they had crossed the threshold of the fortress and touched the cold sands of Hueco Mundo, Grimmjow had bolted like an animal that had been cooped up in a cage for far too long. Orihime laughed as the boy leapt over every object in his path, all the while running at breakneck speed, a wide grin plastered on his childish face, and an excited growl bellowing from deep inside his small body.
Grimmjow finally came to a stop at the top of a hill that was clear of any debris, the sand smooth as far as the eye could see. He bent over, hands on his knees, as he greedily gulped air into his oxygen deprived lungs.
Ulquiorra caught up, and standing beside him, lowered the girl to the ground. She twirled about her young companion, excitedly chattering on about all the games they could play. For once Grimmjow remained silent, weighing his options, as if actually considering what she had to say.
"…tag is always fun…maybe if I were on Ulquiorra's back and you chased us then it would be fair…"
She continued on, suggesting idea after idea until Grimmjow had recovered from his run. Standing tall he looked out over the expanse of sand below them.
"What if I hide beneath the sand," the boy began, "and you have to search for me, and when you get close I can pounce on you…"
"That sounds fun for you, but what about me?" Orihime crossed her arms and pouted.
"You get pounced on," Grimmjow replied.
"Getting pounced on is not my idea of fun," she gave him her back. "I should be able to do something if I find you first."
"You will never find me first," he laughed. "You're just a stupid human after all."
He gave her a playful swat on the arm and Orihime turned to him, a scowl on her face, "I could find you easy. Your stink will always give you away."
She stuck out her tongue and he growled, an acceptance of her challenge Ulquiorra supposed.
"You just try," Grimmjow took off and then quickly disappeared beneath the sand.
Orihime squealed with delight, her scowl gone as she scanned the horizon for any signs of disturbance across the smooth sandy surface below. Slowly she began to trek away from the security of Ulquiorra's side, and into the unknown dangers that lurked beneath her feet. Every so often she would stop and cock her head to the side. Ulquiorra wondered if she indeed could smell the Sixth, but he believed it was something more than that. Grimmjow was shrewd, but in his haste to dismiss the girl as merely human trash, he failed to see that she had some rather remarkable talents she kept quite masterfully hidden.
Her ability to sense spiritual pressure especially that of those closest to her, rivaled some of the sharpest arrancar he knew. She would find the arrogant espada without the aid of his scent. Ulquiorra had no doubt about that.
He lowered himself to the ground and sat still, a small smile tilted the corners of his mouth as the girl whispered something, and suddenly one of her fairies sprang into motion. This was Tsubaki, the aggressive male that she used for her offensive techniques. The creature quickly disappeared under the sand and almost as quickly Grimmjow sprang up from his hiding place, his hand to his head as he exclaimed, "What the hell, Orihime!"
"You can pounce," she smiled sweetly, "Why can't I?"
"That hurt," Grimmjow glared at her.
"Damn well should," the tiny fairy stood on Orihime's shoulder. An arrogant smirk, very similar to the Sixth's, adorned his face. "Don't judge me by my size pussycat. I can kick your ass easy."
"Tsubaki," Orihime gasped.
"No going easy then," Grimmjow dropped his hand and pointed a finger at Orihime, "I'll take you and that little fairy down, and I will make him eat his words."
"I'd like to see you try," Tsubaki crossed his arms.
Grimmjow pounced, but Orihime's shield was up before he could snatch the creature from her shoulder.
"Good try, but no," Orihime laughed. "You're losing your touch Jaegerjaquez-kun."
Her tongue went out again and her laughter only increased as Grimmjow growled loudly. Once more he dove beneath the surface. It was only a matter of moments before he reemerged, shooting to the surface and grabbing Orihime and pinning her to the ground.
"You still suck, human," he snarled.
Tsubaki flitted about just out of the boy's reach.
"Come on Orihime," the fairy yelled. "Are you gonna just take that from this overgrown feline? Where's that confidence form earlier? Give me the go ahead and I'll kick his ass."
Grimmjow stared up and growled, "Shut up pip squeak."
Orihime squirmed from beneath the Sixth, yet Ulquiorra could hear the pleasure in her voice, and sensed her excitement from the game. Grimmjow was no different. They both needed this. Their childish bodies craving more than a fight to the death. This was play – something hollows never truly experienced in such a pure and joyous form.
Ulquiorra relaxed and sat back further. Grimmjow would not harm the girl, and if she was quick enough she may even get in a few good hits before it was all done. And when they returned later, with a hot meal and a warm bath behind them, Ulquiorra believed he would finally get a peaceful night of quiet bliss.
Grimmjow carried Orihime on his back as they trudged back up the sandy dune towards where Ulquiorra sat dozing – or at least pretended to doze. That uptight prick would never let Aizen's precious prize out from under his protective watch. Yet he had bent the rules by suggesting this little excursion. Grimmjow supposed even Ulquiorra needed to pull his nose out of the Shinigami's ass every now and then to get a breath of fresh air.
That thought made him laugh and Orihime quickly questioned him. "What's so funny?"
"Just thinking about Aizen's ass," he smirked.
"You really got a thing for his butt," she giggled and he could feel her laughter rumble against his back.
"It's Ulquiorra who has the love affair with Aizen's ass," he shot back.
"Ulquiorra just likes to make Aizen-sama happy," she lowered her head so that her chin rested on Grimmjow's shoulder. "He's a people pleaser."
"He's an ass kisser," Grimmjow snorted.
"He can be a rebel when he wants to be," she said softly, "After all he snuck us out today."
"Yeah, and don't think he won't lord it over us for days to come," he stared straight ahead.
"Maybe," she lowered her head more, her cheek now resting against his back. "Maybe he'll surprise you…"
Her voice tapered off and he figured she was too tired to speak. They continued to close the distance in silence when after a few moments a loud and rather distinct noise disrupted the quiet.
"Did you just poot?" Orihime lifted her head.
"Poot?" he asked. "What the hell is a poot?"
"You know," she replied, "Break wind."
"Yes, like passing gas," she continued.
"You are so weird," he stated. "Just say it like it is. Stop using all these weird, polite terms."
"Ooh, Grimmjow," she smacked his shoulder. "Do you have to make everything so vulgar?"
"I assume we are talking about farting," he replied, "There is nothing polite about passing some gas from your ass."
"Hitting you with the old ass blaster," he now began to laugh.
"Tooting your own horn," she laughed harder.
"Blowing a butt bugle."
"Cutting the cheese."
"Letting one rip."
"Silent but deadly."
"Don't you dare," he stopped walking. "Your ass is a little too close for comfort."
"And yours isn't?" she became indignant.
"The louder the fart, the less it smells," he stated.
"Is that a scientific fact?" she taunted. "Did you get that information from Szayel or did you just pull it out of your butt."
He purposely let one go and she squealed in horror.
"I definitely pulled that one outta my ass," he snickered.
"You are so gross."
"All boys are gross," he said. "Find me a guy that doesn't enjoy sitting around farting. It's in our nature."
She began to laugh.
"Do you think Aizen-sama and Ulquiorra-kun sit around the throne room passing gas when no one is around?"
He smiled wide, "Gin maybe, Tosen definitely not."
She laughed, "I cannot imagine Ulquiorra pooting."
Grimmjow began to walk again. They were almost to the espada in question. Ulquiorra stood and waited as he trudged the remaining distance.
"Hey, Ulquiorra," Grimmjow yelled. "Orihime was wondering if you and Aizen sit around the throne room having fart contests."
She screamed in horror and scrambled from his back.
"I did not say such a thing!"
"You're a freakin liar," Grimmjow yelled.
"As stimulating as this conversation sounds," Ulquiorra never batted an eyelash, "It is probably best we head back."
"Ah come on Ulquiorra," Grimmjow refused to let it pass. "Admit it. You and Aizen, maybe Gin…"
Ulquiorra bent down and picked up Orihime. He turned to walk back to Las Noches.
"This conversation is childish," he said coolly, "even for you."
"Come on," Grimmjow pestered him as they began to move. "Who's the best?"
"Aizen-sama of course," Orihime laughed.
"Enough," Ulquiorra was uncompromising. "We need to return unnoticed if you ever want to do such a thing again."
"Fart?" Grimmjow couldn't resist.
Ulquiorra gave no response. In a flash he and Orihime were gone.
"Damn, uptight prick," Grimmjow muttered.
The next day they stood before Aizen as Ulquiorra gave his report of the past day's events. The former Shinigami Captain made no comment about the trip outside of the fortress, and Ulquiorra could only assume that meant the man was willing to overlook his loose interpretation of the girl's confinement.
"Good work as usual, Ulquiorra," Aizen spoke. He lifted the cup of tea that was in his hand to his mouth and took a sip.
The room was silent as the espada, human, and Shinigami waited for Aizen to continue. It was in the brief moment that a rather distinct bodily sound came from the leader's throne. Aizen continued on as if nothing were amiss, and Ulquiorra could only hope the two children had enough sense to contain themselves. A miniscule glance revealed Grimmjow's shoulders hitching. A look to the other side was even more terrifying.
Orihime stood red-faced. The most bizarre expression graced her features. Yet no matter how hard she tried, the girl could not contain herself.
"Aizen-sama stepped on a duck," she exclaimed in a rush as a fit of giggles prevented her from saying anything else.
"What kind of stupid ass euphemism is that?" Grimmjow turned and glared at her. "A duck has absolutely nothing to do with farting!"
Ulquiorra remained stoic, believing that if he ignored the scene playing out, it would simply go away. Gin smiled merrily from his place at Aizen's side, and Tosen was unreadable. Still the Shinigami had his hand on his zanpakutu.
"A poot and a duck's quack sound similar," Orihime tried to explain. "Though a duck doesn't say quack as much as…well…" She made a noise that Ulquiorra could only think was supposed to be a duck. Yet before she could finish, she began to laugh hysterically. And then, in the midst of her spectacle, she too made a noise, quieter than Aizen's, but most definitely a fart.
"That would be a duckling I presume," Gin could not resist.
At that point Grimmjow lost it. He began to laugh so hard he started to choke. Coughing, face turning red, he rolled around on the floor at Ulquiorra's feet.
"I apologize, Aizen-sama," Ulquiorra stated softly. "They seem to be at the mercy of their juvenile status. Normal bodily functions seem to be a large source of amusement to them."
Aizen only raised a brow over the mug that was still poised at his lips.
"It is disrespectful…" Tosen began, but Gin cut him off.
"Now Kaname, everyone enjoys a little potty humor every once in a while. Hell, I'll bet that under that deadpan, cold look on Ulquiorra's face, he is going crazy with laughter."
Ulquiorra remained silent.
"You know," Aizen lowered his mug, "I do believe you are right Gin."
"I would never make light of anything you did consciously or unconsciously," Ulquiorra responded.
"Kiss ass," Grimmjow gasped.
"People pleaser," Orihime whispered loudly from beside him.
"Enough," Ulquiorra grabbed each child by the wrist and lifted them so that their feet dangled above the floor. "Aizen-sama, I ask that you allow me to take the children back to their quarters."
Aizen waved him off, "Go Ulquiorra."
He raced with lightening quick speed to the girl's room. Tossing them inside he stated, "I will go check on lunch."
The door closed on the stunned children, yet it was all Ulquiorra could do to get as far away as possible before the most unsettling sound bubbled up from inside of him.
It was some time later that Yammy stumbled across him hunched over, hand bracing his body against the wall. "Hey, Ulquiorra," the man bellowed, "Watcha doin out here?"
"Gaining control of my faculties," he replied as he gathered himself and stood tall.
"Huh?" the espada looked at him puzzled. "You should be careful. There have been reports of rather strange noises coming from this area."
"I will heed your warning," he said, now completely in control once more. "I need to get lunch for my charges anyways."
He nodded at Yammy and walked away slowly. His body felt strangely relaxed. In fact he hadn't felt better, or stronger in quite some time.
What was it that human's said? Laughter is the best medicine. Maybe there was some truth behind that. Still if he let his charges find out, he would lose the upper hand for sure.
Yet as he walked through the halls on the way to the kitchen, he could not get the image of a duck with Aizen's perfected coiffed hair on top of its head, walking around the halls of Las Noches quacking its head off.