BLEACH 暗黒の神話

Bleach: Creatures of the Night

I do not own Bleach. It belongs to Tite Kubo, Shuukan Shounen Jump, Shuueisha, VIZ Media, Studio Pierrot, T.V. Tokyo, and Cartoon Network.

1. サウス・オブ・ヘヴン

1. South of Heaven

María didn't how long she'd been running. Hours? Days? It didn't matter—all that mattered was that she'd gotten away from the others alive.

Gotten away from her.

No matter how hard she ran, how much she moved, the featureless waste of Hueco Mundo still stretched in all directions as far as the eye could see. Her normally lustrous hair fluttered limply as she moved forward. María felt grimy and wanted a bath, but she couldn't stop now, not when she still had a chance of being caught. She didn't even want to think about what they would do to her if they caught her. Better to be eaten by an irate menos grande than to face the wrath of the ones she left behind.

María's foot slipped in the sand, sending her crashing heavily on her stomach. She lay sprawled out, gasping for breath. Fatigue finally caught up with her and her limbs felt like lead. Fenmuji was at her side, still attached to her sash. The heidushuijing rolled out of her hand, stopping a few centimeters away from her face. It glinted coldly in the moonlight. The evil thing was the whole reason she had been running in the first place.

She didn't want to move anymore. Maybe it was better this way, just waiting for death to come and claim her. Sooner or later a hungry hollow would stumble across her and put her out of her misery. María hoped that time would come sooner than later. An inglorious way to die to be sure, but it was better than the alternative. Her eyes began to close…


Her eyes snapped open, fear griping her heart. "No," she groaned.

María…We're coming for you, María…

She hand shot forward, fingers closing around the heidushuijing. María struggled to her feet and clutched the heidushuijing to her chest. Even after holding it for so long the accursed object was still cool to the touch. She couldn't stay there; no matter where in Hueco Mundo she went she wouldn't be safe.

But outside Hueco Mundo?

"At last, some time to myself," Lieutenant Rangiku Matsumoto of the 10th Division sighed happily as she laid down to rest on the couch. With that whole bount business cleared up she could go back to doing the things she loved, like drinking and taking naps. It was fun visiting the World of the Living though, and she hoped she would get another chance to see it. It was always nice seeing her new friends.

She lazily reached over to the bottle of sake on the table without looking. It didn't feel right when she lifted it though. A glance at the bottle told her it was empty. Not a drop left, she thought.

Rangiku got up and dredged over to the sake cabinet, only to find that it was empty. Her memory took that moment to remind her that she needed to get some more sake. Grumbling, she turned around and walked outside.

It was a beautiful day, Rangiku had to admit. The sun was shining and the blue sky was dotted with fluffy white clouds. Maybe a walk outside would be nice. Better yet though would be a nice drink in the sun! A nap afterwards would really hit the spot too. It really was a nice day!

But first she needed to get more sake.

Rangiku was about to leave when she heard a peculiar noise off to the side. It was like the sound of…teeth grinding. It was the only way she could really explain it. She looked to her right; it was like a mouth was opening in the air itself a few meters away. A gaping maw just tore itself in the air with a swirling blackness beyond. Rangiku stepped back, startled. She grabbed Haineko, ready to fight if need be.

Did a hollow somehow make its way here? she wondered.

To here astonishment, a girl emerged from the maw. A slim dark-haired teenager in a yellow robe. The mouth closed behind her with the same awful grinding noise as before.

The girl stumbled out, looking bewildered. Her eyes were wide and had dark circles beneath them. Her short hair was tangled and dirty. She clutched something in her right hand, which was shaking badly. A sword hung at the girl's side from a yellow sash.

"Erm…" Rangiku said. The girl quickly swiveled around to face her, staring at Rangiku with those wide eyes. Rangiku recoiled; the stranger looked like a reanimated corpse. The girl lurched toward her and thrust out her left arm, hand outstretched to Rangiku. "Help me," the girl wheezed, taking another step forward. "Please…"

The girl's eyelids fluttered and her arm dropped. She stood there for a moment, then toppled forward. Rangiku gasped, catching her before she hit the floor. The girl's face landed directly in the middle of Rangiku's generous bosom.

Good thing these things make great cushions, she thought.

Rangiku stood there, an unconscious girl lying face-first in her cleavage. What was she supposed to do? She did the first thing that popped into her head, and slung the girl over her shoulder and took her inside 10th Division headquarters. Rangiku gently laid the girl on the couch and sat down on the floor. Questions filled her mind. Who is this girl? How did she get here? What am I supposed to do with her? What am I gonna say to Captain Hitsugaya?

Rangiku looked at the sleeping girl. With a bath and some rest she guessed the girl would look quite pretty.

A sharp sound startled Rangiku out of her thoughts. She looked down and saw a crystalline black cylinder about thirteen centimeters long laying on the floor. Rangiku picked it up for examination. The crystal was as black as obsidian, and light was reflected off the surface in a way that somehow seemed wrong to her. She didn't know why; it just didn't look right.

She was holding something earlier, she thought and glanced at the girl's hands. Sure enough, they were now empty.

María was running again. This time someone was right behind her. María didn't dare look back because if she did she would be caught and suffer a fate worse than death. So she kept running. She had to get away, had to escape. But no matter how fast and hard she ran someone stayed right behind her.

María…that sweet, evil voice sang. Come back María. Come back and accept your punishment like a good girl.

The ground turned to mud beneath her feet. She couldn't run any more. She was slowly sinking. María cried for help, but it was too late. The only one to hear her was her pursuer. A dark shape towered over her, leering down at her with mocking violet eyes. The figure drew its zanpakutou and brought it down on her head. María screamed.

María thrashed about, screaming in terror. "Get away from me!" she cried.

"No!" a voice called back. Hands gently but firmly took her arms and restrained her. "It's okay! Everything's all right."

María finally forced her eyes open, afraid that she would see those cruel violet eyes and that zanpakutou. Instead she found herself gazing into a pair of concerned ice-blue eyes. María's breathing slowed, the memories of escaping Hueco Mundo with an enhanced Heiqiang technique and appearing somewhere sunny. She remembered seeing the beautiful woman and begging for help.

I must've passed out, she thought.

The woman smiled. Seeing her up close, María really could see the woman was truly beautiful: long, wavy strawberry-blonde hair, clear skin, and a cute little beauty mark by her mouth. "It's all right now," said the woman.

María sat up and looked around. "Thank you for helping me," she said. Then she realized the heidushuijing wasn't in her hand. She nearly panicked again. "No! Where's the heidushuijing?!"

"This thing?" the woman asked, picking it up from somewhere. María sighed with relief and snatched it away from the woman.

"Thank god," she whispered.

"So then," the woman said casually, "I'm Rangiku Matsumoto. What's your name?"

"María. María Susana."

"That's a pretty name," said Rangiku. "Not from around here, are you?"

"No," María answered.

"I thought so." Rangiku yawned and stretched. María noticed for the first time that her hostess was extremely well endowed.

That's one impressive bust.

But María's eyes where drawn to Rangiku's side. Her blood ran cold when she saw the zanpakutou.

A shinigami?! she thought, trying to keep calm. Oh no! If she finds out what I really am—

"You were asleep for hours," said Rangiku. "You must've been really tired. Feel better now?"

"Erm, yes"

"That's good. Here, let's get you cleaned up."


To be continued...

Author's notes: So here it is, my first non-Konjiki no Gash! story. What a historic moment! I have CrazyNinjaPenguin to thank for inspiring me to write this story, and I dedicate it to him. It was a lot of fun coming up with ideas for this story over the past few days. I think the first chapter comes off as somewhat clumsy, but I didn't have any other ideas on how María could meet Rangiku.

Anyway, since I'm dedicating this story to CrazyNinjaPenguin that means this will be a girls love story, one with an original character at that. That also means there will be smut several chapters in the future. Be aware. If you like that sort of thing then please read and review!