*Disclaimer: I don’t own the characters from Bleach, and the basic concept-mostly related with the sea- from <Solaris>; the sci-fi novel by Stanislaw Lem.
*Warning: Beware of angst and tons of (possible) grammatical errors.
Only a couple of things barely have remained unchanged in this world; one of them was the Sun, and it was soaking my face and chest with its lay at this moment. It’s been a long time since any of perceptible creatures on the Earth could feel relief or ease from the sunset; from the abundant ruddy hues dancing in the sky only for short time. The flaming star has repeated its own routine nonetheless, totally ignorant of the well-being of the Earthian lives, which have been born and dead over and over, faster than the flap of a hummingbird.
This made me to glare at the Sun to no avail, with the utmost hostility and defiance dragged from my exhausted self; with tears from sunlight and wild sea breeze.
However, I was aware that I’m bluffing to hide my dire fear; it always has been gnawing my soul. I couldn’t land my eyes on the sea in front of me, where the Sun was sinking into. I knew what happens there, though: the wave would reach the spot I’m standing in less than two minutes, if I don’t move back from here; sea foams wouldn’t easily vanish from the surface, which is thick as soup; after sunset, the ocean would gradually expand its mass for several hours; the tremendous liquid would glitter with pink colour even under the pale moonlight, nearing the Residential Area. A handful of the human race, thus, should try to sleep on the pillow of despair -as always.
I realised that I must go back to the car, when the Sun disappeared halfway into the sea. My current home is at the very edge of the Residential Area, but it takes at least an hour by car. Turning my body, I suppressed the urge to sigh, recalling that I could see the whole sunset only six months ago. The extent of the ocean has been getting broadened; it means that the area of activity for humans is getting narrowed. No one, even children, dares to touch the sea, though. Everyone is fully aware of its terror.
10 years ago, a worldwide operation was carried out to eliminate the mysterious pink matter in the Ocean. A massive number of bombs-it’s said that there were a few atomic bomb among them-and all kinds of detergents made by scientists from the whole world were launched, sprinkled, and poured into the water. The pink substance, in turn, reacted to the onslaught by exploding and swallowing everything within its reach. The real horror is, however, not the fact that we lost far more than thousands of men, hundreds of aircrafts and ships in a flash.
That nickname. I cursed under the breath. This place is not for unnecessary musings, but I repeat this foolish behaviour by some kind of force of habit. I recognised the voice not even turning my head. The next moment, I extended my left arm to the side, holding a pistol firmly in my hand. After doing the very same thing for thousand times, my fingers could automatically-almost elegantly- spin the revolver, pull the gunlock, and gently lay themselves on the trigger. I wasn’t able to go further, though. It wasn’t because the voice belongs to my lover, who was swept in the terrible pink disaster a decade ago. It was because he cannot ‘die’, no matter how accurately the bullet pierces his vital spots.
I reluctantly turned my head. As always, Ulquiorra was in a khaki, one-piece flying suit. His face was mostly in shadow; it was difficult to see his expression in dimming sunlight. I knew well, however, that he was gazing at me wearing the look of eternal calmness. My eyes wandered around his face, the aviation cap sitting on his both hands, Ulquiorra’s name and blood type printed on the chest. Finally when they caught his bare feet, I had to bite my lips not to throw up.
His ivory feet were sunk in the expanding sea water. The pink fluid was slopping around the appendage, as if it was unaware of Ulquiorra’s existence. I decided that it’s better to see his face than the feet, so I raised my head; it was a wrong decision. When he started speaking again, I had to squeeze my eyes shut and almost stumbled backward. His soft voice stung my solar plexus with the unbearable weight of fear and regret.
”I apologise you. You- said that this attire does not suit me.”
’D’you know what? That suit is real ugly on you; it looks dull.’
”I have nothing but this to wear, though.”
It took everything to swallow down the dry sobs. The day Ulquiorra was on the way to his final flight, I bid him farewell that childish way, disappointed that he couldn’t stay with me even for a whole day. He died-or was devoured, to be precise- on the same day. After that, I’ve had to blow his heart and head up for twenty five times; that is, he has appeared to me with the same form and the same greetings over and over -for damned twenty five times. I couldn’t say out loud, that his words always have been much more fatal than my tiny, feeble cannonballs. My trembling hand, attempting to shoot his ‘26th’ head, lost the strength and numbly dropped to my side. I opened my eyes very slowly, and hesitantly.
Now no one cares about the monstrous sea’s cause and identity, thus nobody understands why the ocean reads people’s mind and reproduces the fear and remorse in the deepest part of each of them in the form of human beings, animals or objects, and makes them walk on the coast. The most persuasive guess so far is that the pink fluid came from the outer universe; that it has its own intelligence and sense; that we are sort of guinea pigs of its unknown experiment. None of us could find even a trace of humour from the idea. So we do what we believe that every living body must do: attack the ‘customised nightmares’ with whatever arms we have, and enjoy a short, uneasy break until they get materialised again without the former body’s memories-this is also a supposition, by observing that the ‘nightmares’ repeat same words and behaviours every time they reappear.
The ’ customised nightmares’ haven’t made any kind of counterattack, at least physically. However, seeing them alone has been draining our mental resources-hope, patience, insight, and so on- greatly, and the doomed sea has been speeding its work as per the pace of despair spread among the human race. Would it stop this disgusting thing after the last person is fed up with this tedious hide-and seek and hang oneself? I roughly shoved the pistol into the holster. I was planning to attack ‘him’ not phisical or chemical way.
”Ulquiorra, you’re the 26th now.”
”Look at you.” I didn’t bother to hide the edge in my voice. “Seems that you lost the brainy side in the sea, or you’re just pretending not to understand anything, to torture me. I, popped your head for twenty five times, in the last ten years.”
He twitched, but his reaction didn’t make me feel better. Damn it, whatever he really is, he was standing before me with that young and beautiful face burned deeply in my heart. I had to keep pushing myself, though. Looks like I’m the first one who brought out a new reaction from ‘the things’, aside from crumbling to pieces. I scoffed at our cowardice. We all know that ‘they’ can speak, and why we didn’t try to talk with them?
”Look at me, Ulquiorra.” I hit my chest almost painfully. I’m sure that Ulquiorra couldn’t find young, smilely and carefree Orihime Inoue in her twenties from this face. I was already in my thirties, and my feature has awfully contorted with the constant bitterness and repetitive attack on my once-precious one.
”Don’t you wonder what happened to me? Do you know what year you are in? Can you tell why this land got that bleak? Do you even know, that what are you stepping into?”
The truth in my heated accusation was too harsh and sharp in my throat, so I paused for a moment.
”Ulquiorra, you can’t be here. You should’ve rest in peace under the sea. Y-you were swallowed by the horrible thing t-ten years ago, in the stupid operation. Your real body would’ve been eaten by fishes-if they still live there. I’m ten years older than the Orihime you think you know. I-I had to punch through all over you t-to give you a real rest, whenever you h-haunt me with that pre-pretty face! You don’t know how your guts look like, do you? Ha! Can I say that ‘I know you more than yourself’, then? Can I?”
Before I knew, painful tears were clouding my sight. As I wiped them with the back of a hand rather roughly, he already approached me within his arm’s length. My eyes frantically darted downward. As expected, the gruesome wave was swaying along his feet. I heard my desperate scream.
”Don’t come closer!”
It would be my imagination that the water froze at my cry, but Ulquiorra stopped raising his hand to my face halfway, also the liquid ceased to close the gap. The distance was, however, not enough to look away from his emerald pupils and the swirling current inside them. The moment he slowly opened the mouth, I forgot to breathe. The pale, delicate hand was still stuck in the air.
”…I cannot rest.”
In his bottomless depth was the yearning; it was too deep, too intense, and too hot to be led from any sort of physical relationship. Goosebumps appeared all over my body; I tried hard not to shudder. Daintily, one of the fingers bent onto my face. It didn’t touch me, but I could feel the familiar heat from the appendage on my lower lip.
”I-I do not know. You- call me. I do not know what is the start, but I hear your voice, anyway. I realise then, ah, I do not have ears to hear you. The next moment, the pressure comes. The feeling is like, some mighty one is pressing the entire ocean into the form of a human. Can you imagine how it is painful? I cannot stop, though, because you keep calling me. Just before your voice shatter my eardrum, I get shoved onto this shore. And I see you holding the gun. You’re standing there with the- look, as if you are watching the most horrible and dreadful thing on the Earth. And then-“
Now the gap between his finger and me is thin as a sheet of paper. Hearing his solemn objection, my lips were soaked with fresh tears. Stop, ulquiorra. Enough. I understand, that I can never defeat you. I’m gonna shoot your head again, and try to get some sleep- until you show up again pretending you don’t remember anything.
But I couldn’t move, let alone speaking. Ulquiorra’s soft voice kept stinging my whole being.
”As long as you are not free from me, I cannot be free from you, either. I can do nothing but be made again and again, while you are remembering me, trying to reject me, and making such a sorrowful and awful face - to me.”
The last thread of the setting sunbeam shattered upon a lone tear on Ulquiorra’s marble-like cheek. He weakly dropped the hand.
The hoarse voice, brimming with longing, sadness and despair, made me to move. I gave up calming myself, turned to the parked car, and ran; screaming out my own agony.
Feel free to point me out where I made mistakes. Thank you for reading!