Chapter 10

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"Ulqui! Mommy said we can go get ice cream! Can we go?", the young girl stared up at her older brother.

His emerald green eyes stoic but lightening for his baby sister. He loved her and only her. No one in the world mattered as much as she did. Ulquiorra was committed to this small child, bound to her by an invisible rope. Wherever she went he would go and vice versa but to what extent he truly could not fathom. "Of course, Sayuri. Let's go", he held out his hand for the young girl. Happily she grasped his hand.

Ulquiorra's hands were always so cold but Sayuri didn't mind. She loved his cold hands and big sad eyes. His porcelain skin fascinated her as did her brown skin to him. The two were only half siblings but their bond was undeniable.

When Sayuri was born Ulquiorra had just turned five. He never cared for children even at his age. To be honest, he didn't necessarily care for people at all. He especially didn't care for his stepfather and had convinced himself he wouldn't care for the child, but when Sayuri was born he felt a sudden obligation to protect her. As they grew together, Ulquiorra became her guardian and she never knew trouble or pain or sadness. With him by her side life was perfect and always sunny, each day promising nothing but happiness and laughter.

As they walked down the street to the market place, Sayuri saw a bird. It was a big bird and flew with great white wings. There was a beautiful low tune that played as it flew by almost like an ode. It intrigued her more than anything. She watched as the bird flew further away toward the park. Looking up at Ulquiorra she noticed he hadn't seen the bird or heard the flute. Little did she know he had heard, he just ignored it. It wasn't worth his time. All that mattered was there's ice cream he would buy for his sister. Mint chocolate chip and bubble gum flavors were her favorites. Today he planned on getting a scoop of each.

Sayuri followed her brothers lead and ignored the bird, but it didn't ignore her. The bird flew around her, following her, drawn to her like a moth to the flame. It needed to have her. To devour her.

Years later...

"It's my birthday, Ulquiorra!", the young woman jumped up over her brothers sleeping body. "Ulqui! Wake up!", she demanded to her brother.

Ulquiorra fought the urge to toss her from his bed and go back to sleep, but today was a big day for Sayuri. It was her twenty-first and he promised to take her out to celebrate.

Begrudgingly, the twenty-six year old rolled our of bed. Sayuri cheered jubilantly. She was excited for the day, well, night. She was going to her first bar and she was going with her beloved brother. He was special to her, sure she loved her parents, but they didn't amount to Ulquiorra in her eyes. He was loving and brave and noble. There was nothing Ulquiorra couldn't do. He was perfect.

At the first bar things went smoothly. Ulquiorra didn't drink but one beer and he did that very slowly. He hated the vile drink. It was bitter and burned his throat, but he'd promised Sayuri a nice time do he was trying. Sayuri had gone out onto the dance floor and was dancing by herself but she looked to be having the time of her life. That brought a smile to Ulquiorra's face. It was a small smile but a smile. That's when he heard it. The flute.

His smile dropped and he felt a shiver run down his spine. Something was not right. Something in the balance was off. He closed his eyes to feel for it better and sure enough something was very wrong. When he opened his eyes Sayuri had disappeared. For once, Ulquiorra felt fear. His heart seized and he felt as though all of the air had been ripped from his lungs. His mouth went dry and his palms twitched.

Where was she?! She was right there a second ago! He heard the flute. Jumping from his seat he sprinted after the sound pushing through the crowd of drunken bodies. Something told him to follow it. It was the same flute he'd heard more than ten years ago. The same flute he ignored. And now Sayuri was gone and that sound had something to do with her disappearance.

Soon the sound faded but something that melted Ulquiorra from the inside out took as it took its place. A scream bubbled up through the air tearing through the streets, agonized and tortured. It was her voice. Her throat was screaming and he wasn't near her. He couldn't save her. His legs pumped harder than humanly possible. He had to save her. It was his duty. He had to. He just had to...

"Sayuri!", he yelled and the screaming stopped. Abruptly, without warning. It died.

His feet carried him through the abandoned park they played at as children. They seemed to move on their own, knowing where to go and how to get there. His breath had long gone and he was strictly running on adrenaline and her scream. Her scream fueled him. He had to save her. She was the only thing that mattered in his world. The one person he swore to protect. He had to save her.

Through the park and thick brush he ran. The moon boring down on him like a weight. His tears streaming down his face, because he knew even before he saw her. Lying there... In the grass... She looked like an angel, but angels don't die so she had to still be alive. He dropped to his knees defeated but still clasping onto hope that she was somehow okay.

Ulquiorra's heart was ripping at his mind's delusion. She was dead. Dead as ice. Her hands told him that, because for the first time her hands were colder than his own. Her dark eyes still open, looking for someone who hadn't come or who had come but was late.

Her chest didn't rise and fall. Her eyes didn't see as he cried for her... For himself. Her ears didn't hear as he screamed her name begging her to move, to breathe... Nothing. She was no longer there. Her body was just that, a body. There was no soul, just a shell. A beautiful shell that had once laughed and smiled and brought light into life. Now there was nothing. Nothing but tears that seemed to dig trenches in his cheeks, etching their way permanently on his face. A cruel reminded that he had failed...

.......

Everything's dark now. But... But where's Ulqui? Where's the bar? The people? The bird? The flute? Everything. Here, there is nothing. Then I remembered. But no... It couldn't be true. Ulquiorra protected me, he hard always protected me. But... He's not here. He's there. I can hear him. I can hear him cry? No, Ulqui don't cry. When you cry, it hurts, like someone is stabbing me, yanking and twisting out my heart. Please don't cry, Ulqui... It hurts. It hurts so much! Please! Stop crying!

I woke up screaming. My throat constricted and my vision blurred. This hole. This hole here in my heart. I didn't mean for this to happen. I'm the reason Ulqui was always sad. I'm the reason why he has those tears. Those tears whose evanescent wasn't tangible, or real in any way. It was my fault he couldn't stop crying.

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