Orihime was positively beaming with pride, even with Ulqiorra’s solemn and blunt attitude. It was quickly rained on when Grimmjow appeared and declared they were wanted by Aizen. She wasn’t sure it was good news, and the comment of things getting exciting made her doubt it a little more. She looked to Ulquiorra.
“An attack?” She raised an eyebrow. That was the last thing she wanted right then, she was barely getting used to her powers and couldn’t imagine using them in a fight. She looked to Ulquiorra and grew quiet, he was difficult enough and she didn’t want to anger him with a million different questions. She followed his lead towards Aizen. Being one on one with Ulquiorra was a lot easier than being around many of his kind. They all had such different personalities and Orihime was still trying to figure out her new found companion.
Orihime figured it was better to be quiet and let Ulquiorra do the talking, she wasn’t sure of her standing in this place but she certainly wasn’t as powerful as the others and she didn’t hold the same status, that much was for sure. The previous pride and excitement had filtered away, replaced instead by a shy conscience around the others, stepping somewhat closer to Ulquiorra, as if he would protect her somehow if anything went wrong.
[i "Indeed.. Not bad for a human at all..]
There was no amusement in his voice. It was only a confirmation that she'd been advancing today and as he saw the way she was able to shield herself while moving he grinned. There was a lot to be happy for. However, before he could say another word, Grimmjow appeared before them suddenly. His eyes were narrow and he had a wicked look upon his face before he turned and look at the redhead and back to the sourpus known as Espada Quarto.
[#438089 "Oi, Aizen wants the girl and you."] He spoke as he couldn't help be let that grin grow bigger and bigger. It seemed as if things in the Human world were speeding up and that word had been reached that the princess, Orihime had been captured. It wouldn't be long til a rescue party was assemble and people were sent out to find the missing woman. Turning upon his heels he looked to Ulquiorra with a sicken grin upon hs face. [#438089 "Shit's bout to get fuckin' exciting!"]
Rolling his eyes the male slowly shrugged his shoulders. [i "Lord Aizen probably just wants to check the progress of Orihime. I doubt that they'd be stupid enough to launch an attack. How much time has pass in the human world? With three or four days passing here it couldn't have been more than three or four hours there? Unless, the time outside is beginning to fluctuate? Mmhm. Hueco Mundo is such an unreliable reality.]
Orihime raised an eyebrow at the single clap but she figured it was a nice gesture from him, he was trying to appear more... supportive and she guessed it beat his usual cold exterior. However, she was all smiled when he walked over, rather proud of herself. For some peculiar reason it meant a lot that Ulquiorra was supportive right then, Orhime’s green eyes bright and shimmering with confidence for the first time since being here.
“I guess you’re right.” She remarked, quietly and looked back around the room.
“Bet I can do it while moving.” She was definitely more light hearted, somehow, more excited to explore the powers she possessed. She watched him move off and raised an eyebrow again before doing just as she had before, the thin, translucent bubble like shield appearing and she attempted to move. It took up a lot of concentration and she moved, the shield moving with her and after a few minutes it faded and she seemed pleased once more with the results.
She looked to Ulquiorra,
“Not bad for a human, huh?” She said, gleefully. Her mind wasn’t focused on home right then, it wasn’t focused on getting out of this place, it was instead focused on the head and the now. It was a nice feeling for the redhead.
Positive reinforcement was something he'd agreed to try. So bringing his hands together he gave her a clap. One single clap. [s He had no clue how to do any of this human stuff.] Walking towards her he started to speak softly. [i "Sonetimed we hold ourselves back. It's amazing really. If something has never happen before it's because we've never thought of it. I'm sure that this is giving you ideas. With your type of power I'm sure its endless what you can do."]
He spoke those words as a truth. Of course humans were remarkable like that. They believed in surpassing there limits. Unlike the Arrancars who were eternally stagnant and unable to move forward. Least, that's what Ulquiorra Cifer thought to himself in those quiet moments he had alone to himself. Stepping back he shifted his weight from one end to another and looked up towards the sky. He'd had a feeling that morning had finally broken in the human world. they've probably already discovered she was gone and were preparing to launch a rescue mission.
They'd estimated that they would have quite a while before they'd entered and tried to rescue her. And so the Male would just quietly enjoy the time they had. She was becoming more and more amusing.
Orihime watched him as he spoke, eyeing the ball he made from nothing. She wasn’t sure she was that powerful but she figured she needed to start understanding how to protect herself. Healing was all well and good but she knew that protecting herself was important. She stepped into an open area and glanced around. Healing took a lot from her but she listed closely to her new found companion.
Ulquiorra had so much control, so much ability and some part of her didn’t want to disappoint him. She swallowed and chewed at her lip, doing her best to just focus on visualising her healing ability. It was exhausting but after some time of her just quietly standing, a shimmer appeared before her, distorting the air ever so slightly and producing a honeycomb sort of shield in front of her and she cracked open an eye. She hadn’t expected that and she was stunned to silence. It moved with her, keeping her covered and she looked to Ulquiorra. Was this what he meant?
After a few minutes, it flickered and vanished, in a soft breeze and she just stood, bewildered at herself. She shifted slightly from where she stood.
“That’s never happened before.” She said to Ulquiorra, for once quiet and her questions ceased. Orihime has to wonder though, was it possible that as much as she could help and protect, maybe there was a way to turn this to an attack or some sort of burst of energy capable of pushing back foes.
[i "Very well.."]
His voice came out nonchalantly as he followed her to the place where they'd trained earlier. It seemed as if her incessant questioning had cease; a thing which he was slowly glad had been over. He'd never been one to reflect on past or ask why's. He'd was simply accepting of everything which present himself. A bitter nihilist to the end. Stepping out into the clear blue skies he slowly turned towards the girl and once more spoke softly.
[i "Do you remember last time, how we tried to get you to use your powers to create a shield around you? I think it would be helpful if we'd picked up where we started.."] Once more, he lifted his finger and pointed it towards a random point in space. With ease, he started to fire up a Cero and has the black greenish ball circled around his fingers, he spoke once more.
[i "Imagine your healing powers deep within, pull it out of you and than use use it as a method to cover and protect you.."] Inhaling, he slowly watch as the ball of energy dimished before disappearing. [i "I know you can do it."]
Orihime was still confused and it was just so exhausting to try and work out what was going on around her half the time. She wasn’t sure she would ever truly like this place, but she wasn’t stuck here. They had said she would go home after this and return to the life she had. Ulquiorra though, he was stuck here and she couldn’t help but wonder if he ever wanted another chance at a proper life? She didn’t put a voice to her curiosity though, instead thinking over his question. She had rested, enough to at least try again.
[b “We can try again.”] She said to him with a small shrug. She had to get better so she could at least help. There was a thought that passed her mind for a moment, if Ulquiorra didn’t feel the same way as others, if emotions were foreign then it was likely she wouldn’t ever see him laugh, smile let alone weep or get angry. It was odd, like being around a robot of sorts.
[b “C’mon, I need to get better at this.”] She said to him as she gave him a small pat on the shoulder before retracing her steps to the training room from earlier. She was grateful for the blue skies in there as she fixed her hair.
So many questions the swarmed around the head of the female. So little time to answer it properly. Looking at her he closed his eyes; it wasn't as if he didn't want to answer her question. He simply had no recollection of that human life he live. His entire existence-as far as he was concern-started the moment he breath in the air of Hueco Mundo. Still, the question as to where his heart was was an entirely different matter. He didn't need it to exist, he was still pretty much alive and well. Despite there being a hole in his chest. So, for all intensive purposes he was fine with just existing like so still.
[i "I simply do not know where my heart is. I exist and that's all I know. I try to only focus on the things that matter. The things that are and the things which I can physically observe."] He was a straight forward guy and there wasn't any chance that that'd change within anytime soon. Nodding his head, he slowly moved towards the door.
[i "By now, enough time has pass to well those who we have taken you from will be waking up. I suggest you get some rest.. unless you're ready to get back to working on your healing powers?"] he asked her as lingered longer at the door waiting for her reaction.
Ulquiorra’s display caused Orihime’s jaw to fall open, a little shocked and she didn’t expect such a sight. He quite literally didn’t have a heart. She never expected it but somehow it explained a lot about his cold exterior. Her eyes lifted to his after a moment of trying to process what she had seen. She had intuitively taken a step back, a single step or wariness because it was a solid reminder that this was not a man before her, not a human.
[b “Why did you turn bitter?”] She dated to ask him quietly. Her gaze didn’t falter at her question as she watched him, more curious now than ever before about him. He certainly didn’t seem as threatening as the others but that was perhaps because he had taken some time with her. She knew him more than the others. Orihime swallowed the slight lump in her throat and eyed the door to her room, thinking for a while but not entering as she glanced back to Ulquiorra.
[b “Where is your heart?”] She added a question again. Did she really want to know? She had a funny feeling that this wasn’t some tragic story and would turn her stomach like everything else here. Orihime took a moment to actually look at Ulquiorra and commit his image to memory. Sharp eyes, an odd devoid expression that showed nothing except the plain facts of the here and now. Even if he did ever get a heart back, gain back the ability to feel, would it destroy him?
"I don't think you're stupid. No one told you how things work around here.."
Stopping in his tracks he turned towards the girl now that he'd safety escorted her back to her room. There was honest truth in what he said to her. There was no ill will towards her; he understood that she simply didn't know what or who they were. As the Hours continued to tick on by in this world he knew that pretty soon it would be time for those whom she loved to discover that she was missing. Such was how the passage of time worked in this world that was seperated from the humans. At her other question he simply smiled giving her one that was filled with a tinge of sorrow. It wasn't like him to betray himself and show emotion but at that question he couldn't help but do so for just the briefest of moments before shaking his head.
[b "No.. were are not humans. We are Arrancars."] Unzipping his shirt he pointed towards the whole in his chest that was empty. It was completely see through and it was right well his heart would've been had he had one. Zipping back up his jacket he spoke to her softly. [b "When a human dies with regret he becomes a ghost right? Most ghost are able to to find peace but if they don't find peace... and become bitter.. they turn into monsters.. Sometimes, those monsters are able to regain apart of their humanity and they become what we are now."]
Orihime didn’t think her questions were stupid, Ulquiorra acted like an entirely different species and she wasn’t sure what sort of a man he was. She also wanted to know so much about him because if something terrible happened in this place and she couldn’t go home, then it was better to know at least one person who could keep her company. Then again, this was a duty to him, nothing more and he saw her as weak.
Orihime wondered if he was wrong. She knew she had powers to heal and to protect but maybe that was all there was to it. She nodded to him as he spoke and eyed the door to her room when they arrived. She chewed her lip thoughtfully,
[b “Are you human?”] She asked and then paused, [b “And stop looking at me like I’m stupid. I don’t know this place or you.”] She pointed out. She didn’t see him as stupid or uneducated but he surely saw her as such. This was a new place and Ulquiorra acted as if she was supposed to know everything that went on automatically.
Orihime wasn’t even sure she could heal a severed limb, she had healed serious injuries before of course but nothing as extreme as that.
[b “Sorry.”] She remarked quietly for her earlier snapping at him about treating her as stupid.
Leading her through the maze of the place the male simply smirked to himself. It took time and effort to learn the lay out of the place. However once it was known it was pretty easy to navigate. Still, for the first question he decided it best to keep quite and continue to escort her back to her chambers. As for the second one, he stopped. Turning those eyes upon her, he began to question if what she said was real question or if she just pretend to be this dumb. No one, he was sure of it, no one could be that dumb in this world. [i "Everything in this world has an ending and beginning. I can bleed and I can surely die."] He spoke those words coolly before turning a corner and waiting for her to follow.
He understood that getting use to the eternal night here was a challenge. For those who were foreign to it he wondered how it must have felt. But for he himself, for as far back as he could remember this was all he'd ever known. That silver sea of sand and the infinite blackness stretch well beyond eternity. Had he not visited the human world or gone to the places within the castle where there was light he'd had assume this was all how worlds were. As for when he that final question it was again silly to the male. [i "I rest whenever I feel tired. I don't fatigue as much as my others. Mostly because they gave up the ability to heal in exchange for more power. I kept mine."]
That was also the reason as to why Aizen had ask him to instruct Orihime to be under his care. And-before she could ask he spoke again quickly. [i "By healing I mean self-regeneration. As long as the damage isn't to serve I can heal it. For example a cut is manageable. But restoring a severed a limb isn't."]
A hand on her shoulder caused her to whip around as Orihime was startled by Ulquiorra’s presence. She looked relieved to see him, which was new considering their latest interactions. Loathe to admit that she did need his help to find her way back.
[b “Alright.”] She murmured as she chewed her bottom lip.
[b “How do you navigate all of this?”] She asked him, a touch more at ease around him given she had rested and he had come to her aid.
Pale eyes searched the corridors as if wary they might be set upon which was a little irrational but she had seen the confrontation between Ulquiorra and the other man earlier. There had been sparks in the air from that size up and Orihime wasn’t sure she wanted them to test each other like that. A question crossed her mind then as they walked,
[b “If this isn’t... well, the normal realm. Can you die? Your kind I mean.”] She asked him, curiously. This was all incredibly new to her, foreign and she knew she could probably die and be stuck here forever which somehow seemed a harrowing thought given she was imprisoned here.
Orihime wasn’t sure if there was set time sin this place, nothing seemed to change from day to night, everything just seemed to merge together and it was odd.
[b “When do you rest?”] She asked him, curiously. She hadn’t seen him rest but then she wasn’t sure how much time had passed in this place.
The whole structure of the castle was base upon that of a sphere. With interlocking hallways within the circles. Even if she were lost, with enough walking she'd be able to find her way back. Still, seeing as he was following behind her, he wonder if he should lend her a helping hand. One could call the castle maze-like. It indeed did mimic it. Following closer behind her, he was going to wait till she stopped before his hand reached out and was placed on her shoulders. She truly was lost; such a thing wouldn't do him or her any good at all.
The voices which the pair heard were just higher ranker members of the Arrancar's speaking and discussing war tactics. Such a droll and boring conversation that the male was glad this time he had no part time. Instead of giving her a side remark, Ulquiorra simply spoke up to her in a soft voice. [i "The castle is base upon a spherical maze design. Its quite easy to get lost. If you require my assistance to get back to your room than I'll be more than happy to oblige."]
Even wandering, Orihime couldn’t shake the feeling that she was just stuck. There was no freedom in this, she had no choice and it was a strange feeling to have. She was scared and dare not admit to such a thing around Ulquiorra in case he mocked her or cut at her with his words. He didn’t understand, and that was okay but she wanted him to at least pretend to be empathetic, even just once. She stopped midway down one of the halls and sighed out. She was glad it was empty, or so she thought as she leaned against one of the walls and eyed the setting. Everything seemed dull, no colour or brightness. Would it be so bad to want some paintings?
Orihime looked around and figured she had been gone long enough. She turned and started back towards her room, pausing for a moment as she tried to remember the way back.
“Uh..” She huffed our as she realised she was very much lost. This was great, and it would add further embarrassment to her case when Ulquiorra caught up to her. She could hear voices of others, unfamiliar ones and she pressed against the wall as they passed into one of the rooms. She didn’t recognise them and nor did she want to, like a frightened bird.
Orihime waited for a while, not daring to move until she was sure the coats was clear and even then she sort of just seemed frozen in place, lost and vulnerable.
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