Disclaimer: Yeah, still don't own it.

A/N: Nnoitra and Nel really need character sections so I can find more fic with them. This wasn't originally intended to be shippy but sort of turned out that way. I kept trying to get Szayel in, but he was having none of it. Mm, I don't think I've got all the dynamics of their relationship in here; perhaps I will write another and manage to wrangle Szayel into that one.

Here lie manga spoilers, Spanish, wanton violence, swearing in two languages, Nnoitra being a twisted bastard, rather indigo prose, and incomprehensibility. Ye be warned.

las tres flores y la distancia

la primera. y no hay flores aquí

She has been told it is an honor, but the spiky black number on her back feels more like a brand. Son míos, todos, y mis mascotas son mejores de tuyos.

She kneels before Aizen anyway, swearing away her pain even while the fresh ink stings. She is la arrancada, la rota, la nueva, torn and broken and reborn, whole and strong. She will serve him because there is nothing else in this empty world for her to look up towards. The sky here does not change, but Aizen is not yet that distant.

Bowing one last time, she bares the number three to the vaulted ceilings of Las Noches, so far beyond her and Aizen both. In time, she knows, this place will be filled; right now it seems more like a dollhouse and all of them only playing at being warriors.

When she exits, there is a man waiting for her. He is taller than she, but ridiculously so, as if Aizen wanted to make a man who could touch the roof of the expectations he has built for them. She ignores him.

"Hey, woman," he says, and she can hear the malice in the way he says it; ay, puta.

She turns to face him. "Yes?"

"This place is for Espada, not little girls." He runs his tongue over his lips, and she can see a flash of ink.

"I am Espada," she says, and turns her back to him. His eyes pierce the tattoo a second time; she can feel his hatred and his jealousy sinking into her hierro.

From here, their fates are settled.

la segunda. me quiere, no me quiere

Nel believes in killing with precision—she absorbs one cero and fires two in return, chooses her prey and goes after it with cold eyes and a colder sword.

Beside her, Nnoitra swings his blade in wild arcs, destroying everything in its path and splattering her with blood. She pauses only when he gets it in her eyes, wipes it away and resumes the fight. He is a liability, a weakness, but this is why she follows him. He may call her a calculating bitch, but her calculations keep him alive. If she were less of an Arrancar and more of the lowly Hollow she once was (and he still is) she might kill him, but she knows that the Espada cannot lose a member. So many exceptions she makes for him.

She tells him off after every battle, for coming out covered in blood when Aizen has given them one mission. Every time he spews the same talk at her, something about needing to feel alive. They are already dead, she thinks, and so far gone that no amount of killing will save them now.

He fights her, tries to bring her down from her pedestal as if he ever could. Green is the color of envy, she once knew, of sins and sinners that should not be found in this pure, white world. The blade of Gamuza shimmers like emerald as she brings it down to draw his blood. They paint the canvas of this desert in jealousy; red flowers bloom in the sand beneath him as he once again falls.

Once, he kisses her just because he thinks she'll let him. She does, initially. He tastes like metal and lust; the number eight wraps around her tongue, forces it down, snakes down her throat until she's near to choking on his inferiority. But it is only when his long fingers hook themselves in the fabric of her collar and his nails rip through and brush her throat that she pushes him away. Her sure hands tremble.

Her face shows nothing; her lips still have the hissing red warmth of fresh blood. They open once, twice, as she tries to form words. The third time, she says this: "You should not have done that."

His face distorts into something resembling contempt, as if he held some power over her. "You fucking tease, you shouldn't have let me. Si no lo quieres—si no lo quiere"

"Aizen has told us to complete this mission. You…" She wants to tell him, with all the force the brand on her back carries, that he will not endanger it, but she knows he already has. She doesn't finish speaking.

"Fuck you, I'll kill you if you say one more word about Aizen and his mission." In his face she can see some kind of desperate want. She can read him as easily as she can read her own self; he says that he will beat her into the sand and it will not yield to her body. And he will not yield to her.

Some day, far off yet, he will learn that there are distances that he cannot close.

la última. las hojas, las flores, la distancia

There is a seat on the Espada that has always been his; so he will tell her, and it is a height she cannot reach.

He swings his blade down, down, down, and she becomes la sangre as she bleeds him out onto the floor.