A/N: Well, here we go. Another (hopefully) great fic for you all. Like anything else I've written, this is a yuri (girl X girl) story. This story will also at some point contain material of a sexual nature as well as other stuff making it worthy of the M rating. If you do not approve of such things there are other stories you could be reading. And as a little warning, if you're bothered by extreme angst, you probably won't like this chapter.
Disclaimer: I own Bleach... but only in a distant alternate future dimension where the world is controlled by giant possums.
The woman sighed as she looked at her. Momo could feel the sadness in her eyes as they glanced up and down. She forced a tapered smile to her lip in hopes of maybe dispersing the sadness in the kind woman's eyes, but she felt sad too, and the best she could give was a half-hearted effort.
"You've been here a long time, Lieutenant Hinamori," Retsu Unohana closed her sad eyes to speak, "I know your heart is still gripped by pain, but there is little more we can do for you now that your wounds are healed," the benign healer's expression showed concern, "now head-captain Yamamoto has deemed it time for you to be released from our charge and returned to serving with your own Division." Retsu paused to look at Momo for a long while as if she was something fragile, that could break if she stared too hard. "Are you all right with this decision, Lieutenant?"
The pathetic half-smile washed off Momo's face in a second as she spoke with sober eyes, "If it is what the head-captain has decided I have no option but to accept it."
"I see," Retsu sighed. "I have asked Captain Hitsugaya here to aid in escorting you back to the fifth Division. He should be arriving shortly."
"Understood," Momo replied blankly as she stood from the chair in the woman's office. She turned and made her way out the door without another word. She had no use for the kind woman's pity any longer.
She began to walk. The halls of division four became just a blur as her mind began to wander. It had been weeks since she came here, weeks since it happened. It had been weeks since her entire world had crumbled all around her. Tending to her physical injuries had come first. There was a long gap of time that she couldn't account for between it happening and her being cognizant of things once more. After that there had been a miserable number of weeks spent in that hospital room feeding off the pity of others who wanted to see her get better. She was actually glad she was finally being released for good; she wasn't worth any pity.
"Momo! Hey." Momo looked up at a sudden shout and saw Toshiro Hitsugaya waving at her down the hallway. Her blank, callous expression didn't change, nor did her deliberate walking pace, as she approached him.
"Hello, Toshiro," Momo said softly, looking down, avoiding the boy's smirk and friendly eyes.
"You know it's Captain Hitsugaya," Toshiro said, shaking his head slightly.
"I'm sorry," Momo said in a drained, weak voice. Toshiro's expression became more concerned.
"I-it's all right... you don't have to..." the young captain started; he was pitying her too. She felt sick.
"Let's just go," Momo miserably stated as she walked past her long time friend and continued out the building. Hitsugaya caught up.
The boy stared at Momo with his wasted concern and said, "are you sure you're really okay to be released Momo, I'm sure Captain Yamamoto would understand if--"
"I'm perfectly fine, Toshiro." Momo cut the other off to assure, an obviously forced smile on her lips.
"I know you don't want me to worry, but I do worr--"
"I'm fine. My wounds have been all healed for a while now." Momo cut her friend off once again, trying to put at least some lost conviction behind the half-truth.
"You know that's not what I'm concerned about, Momo..." Toshiro replied with clear melancholy. Momo tried her best to put distance between them.
"Last time we talked you were in the human world. Did your mission there go well?" Momo decided to turn the conversation around completely. Not because she really cared, but more because she was tired of being looked at through sad eyes.
"There were some unforeseen difficulties, but we more or less accomplished what we set out to do," the captain muttered, obviously realizing what his childhood friend was doing.
"I see. I'm happy you had some success then," Momo said with another forced smile, her eyes didn't look at Toshiro.
"I'm thankful for your support, Momo," the boy replied; his voice and expression were a lot sadder than his words as well.
Momo let the conversation trail off. Toshiro obviously wanted to talk more. He obviously wanted to comfort her. He obviously wanted to help her through her pain. Momo was grateful to have a friend like Toshiro Hitsugaya who wanted so much for her. She was grateful, but at the same time she couldn't help but think that maybe things would be better if he cared less.
Toshiro didn't understand her. No one did. She didn't even understand herself. All she did know is, the world she had once lived in had been a lie. She had never been anything more than a stupid doll living an artificial life set out for her by a master, and now she had been discarded by that master. She was worthless, useless, beyond pity, and far beyond any help or comfort Toshiro Hitsugaya could provide.
Toshiro Hitsugaya didn't really matter. Izuru Kira didn't really matter. Renji Abarai didn't really matter. Shuhei Hisagi, Rangiku Matsumoto, Retsu Unohana, Isane Kotetsu, Shigekuni Yamamoto-Genryusai, none of them mattered. They were all just names and faces, beings who existed to look at her with pity, pretend to be her friends, or whatever other role, when really none of them understood her. In all truth, Momo Hinamori was completely alone in the world.
"Momo, would you be all right on your own from here?" Toshiro asked, a sad smirk on his face. Momo looked up to see that they were now standing in front of the division five building.
"I think so," the girl replied slowly, looking down at her feet with somber eyes.
"Send word if you need anything," the young captain gravely responded. He turned to walk away.
"Good bye, Toshiro," Momo said as she took a step forward.
"Momo... please remember that everyone is here for you," the white haired youth said in a low voice as he began to walk away. The more tortured part of Momo felt like laughing; she didn't. Instead she just continued to walk in the opposite direction.
Momo stared up blankly at the Fifth Division. Why was she here? Did they honestly think she was ready to face a place like this that held so many of the curses called memories? Maybe they had just finally given up on trying to care. She had always hated receiving their pity, maybe they had finally just decided to stop hiding the truth. Momo was alone. She was tired of people telling her they cared.
She dreaded the thought of returning to the Fifth Division. Dolls that are broken and discarded shouldn't ever return to their dollhouse. She didn't really feel like going anywhere else either. She was alone and she didn't have anywhere to go. Her world was gone. Her existence had lost all meaning.
Captain Sosuke Aizen was everything she had. He was everything she had faith in. He was her world. He was her love. He was everything in her heart. But he had stabbed his sword through that heart with a cold smile and left her for dead. He had never been anything more than a puppeteer pulling her strings. Her whole life had always been a sick lie.
Sometimes she wished Aizen had succeeded in his aims. If all she was was a puppet, a doll, and her puppeteer, her doll-master had grown weary of her, then shouldn't he have the final say in when she is disposed of? What point was there in living such a pointless life? The more she thought about it the more she realized no answer sufficed.
No one was watching her anymore. They didn't really care. If they did they'd still be there. She wasn't going to return to Division five. Why should she? Even thinking about this place made her heart cry out in agony. She wasn't going to go in. No one here cared about her. They were the same as all the others. They were all just meaningless names and faces.
She turned around from the door and walked away, not sure where she was headed. She was sad, helpless and vulnerable. She was beyond being comforted. The only one who could succeed at such a job wasn't real in the first place. She supposed she'd just go and die, end it all. No one would care if she did. Momo Hinamori was completely alone.
Her mind set on death, Momo began to ponder the best way to bring it. Shinigami like her were quite resilient. She had survived being run-through on Aizen's malicious blade. What chance did she have of dying by a self-delivered wound? They would save her again, and then there'd just be more wasted pity.
Maybe she could just run into Hueco Mundo and let the hollows devour her. It seemed a viable solution, except she didn't know how to get there. Someone also might save her even then. She didn't want to be saved.
Momo continued to muse on the topic as she walked through Seireitei. Every gruesome scene she played in her head seemed to end with an off-chance of her being rescued. She couldn't find a single good answer. Then one finally hit her as she looked up by chance. She smiled as she stared at a research lab belonging to the twelfth Division.
Poison. That could definitely work. She'd just steal some, hide somewhere, take it and die. By the time anyone found her it'd be too late. It seemed like a sure bet. She gave a sad smirk as she made a beeline for the research facility.
The front door was locked securely but she found a run-down door that could be heaved open with enough force around the back. She made sure to remain quiet and stealthy as she moved through the large building. Luckily, there didn't seem to be very many researchers populating the place. The ones that were there could be avoided easily enough.
Wandering around a bit, Momo eventually found a door next to a sign saying "serums development". She assumed this would be a good enough place as any to start looking for a lethal agent. Her hand went for the door. She was surprised to find it open with ease. No one was inside. She proceeded straight for a counter next to a storage closet at the end of the room.
On the counter were several flasks of differently colored liquids. She stared at each of them, unsure of which one might be what she was looking for. She soon narrowed it down to an eerie neon green liquid, a foul-smelling murky purple one, and a clear liquid that bubbled and fumed. She honestly had no clue what each liquid was, but she was beginning to think that it probably wouldn't matter. Taking all three at once would probably be fatal even if they weren't all poison.
She collected the green flask in her left hand and then grabbed for the other two in her right. Just as she was making the grab, however, she heard loud sounds coming form just outside the room. She panicked, not wanting to get caught. She flung herself into the open storage closet and closed it tightly, making sure not to knock over the countless bottles of fluid inside. Pressing up against the closet door, she had a pretty good view of the room outside, through a small gash-like vent.
Before Momo's eyes, the door to the room was forced open and a figure was pushed violently to the floor. Another figure followed this one in and stood over it. It didn't take Momo long to recognize the two as Nemu and Mayuri Kurotsuchi, respectively.
"You worthless wretch, are you considering defying me, your creator?!" Mayuri shouted viciously, kicking the girl on the floor with abandon, causing her to fly a distance and land flip over a few times and crash into the closet Momo was hiding in.
"I was not, master Mayuri. I was merely expressing what sort of stress this experiment might put my body under," the girl said, quivering as she struggled to get up off the ground.
"Silence you worthless doll! You think you have a place to speak out in the matter?!" Mayuri shouted as he moved toward Nemu. He grabbed her by her right arm and ripped her violently off the floor.
"I apologize, Master Mayuri. I was completely out of line," Nemu said, a tremble in her voice, fear in her eyes.
"You know better than to question me, girl..." the merciless captain growled as he glared at the girl.
"I won't. Please proceed with the experiment, Master," Nemu said so helplessly.
"You don't have to tell me!" Mayuri shouted as his left hand went to his sword, Ashisogi Jizo, and drew it.
With a forceful swipe the freakish captain proceeded to force the blade of his unreleased sword through the flesh of the arm he held the girl by. Nemu shrilled in horrible agony as the cut ran deeper and deeper. Eventually the arm was completely severed, and Nemu fell, crying and screaming back to the floor.
"Pathetic! Why do you cry like this, you wretched thing! Pain like this should be no issue to my creation!" Mayuri vehemently shouted as he kicked the writhing and screaming girl several times into the storage closet. A splash of blood flickered through the vents on the closet door and landed on Momo's horrorstruck face.
"I'm sorry, Master Mayuri, but the pain is so great," Nemu panted out desperately in an ached voice.
"A thing like you complaining about pain. How absurd," Mayuri said with a cold laugh as he retrieved something form the counter nearby. Momo soon recognized it as the clear liquid from earlier connected to a long needle. She cringed as she watched him stick the entire length into Nemu's chest, causing her to cry out again before collapsing lifelessly to the floor.
"Hmph, I have little more time to waste on miserable creatures like you," Mayuri stammered as he backed off from the girl and left, slamming the door behind him. Momo didn't think twice about opening the closet door immediately.
She looked in horror at the blood on the floor and walls. She then looked down at the girl collapsed in the crimson fluid. Her arm detached and lying on the floor nearby. Momo bent down at once and checked the girl's pulse. She let out a "thank you" when she found one. She tried to stir Nemu from unconsciousness by softly poking her face. Eventually her eyes opened.
"You're Lieutenant Momo Hinamori of the fifth Division," the sad but beautiful looking girl said in a voice that looked as if it were suppressing a great deal of pain.
"That's right," Momo softly smiled.
"What are you doing in a facility under the authority of the twelfth Division? Trespassing is a serious offense that my Captain does not take lightly," despite the suffering in her eyes, Nemu tried to remain duteous in tone.
"That doesn't matter now, Nemu! Don't you see that your arm has been cut off?!" Momo almost screamed, as she looked down at the other with tears in her eyes.
"This is just an experiment to see if my master's new regeneration serum will work," Nemu said with a slight pained groan.
"He doesn't even know if it will work and he's doing this to you?!" Momo could hear the indignation in her own voice.
"Of course. Him not knowing, is the reason for the experiment," Nemu replied rationally, blood still pouring from her wound.
"And what if it doesn't work?! What does he do then?!" the young girl shouted with horror clear in her eyes.
"Reattaching the existing limb is well within my Master's ability," Nemu said in a low voice as she glanced over at her bloodied limb.
"How can you tolerate him treating you so cruelly...?" Momo almost whimpered.
"He created me. It is his place to treat me however he sees fit," Nemu solemnly said. Momo shook her head vehemently.
"That's wrong! It doesn't matter who created who! What makes him of such value that he could just do something like this?!" Momo remained infuriated. She was shaking. She felt sick and she felt horrible.
"Master Mayuri is the reason for my existence. Thus Master Mayuri is the only one of any value to me in this world," Nemu replied, her eyes looked gentle; they were still filled with held-back tears.
"But how can you say that, Nemu?! There are countless other people all over Seireitei who care about you!" Momo insisted in her compassion.
"Really? This is the first I've heard of such a thing. Who are these people?" Nemu asked, staring at the girl as if she were odd.
"You know, the members of your division, me and the other lieutenants, everyone!" the young girl smiled as she said this.
"Those people are nothing but data to me. Names and faces for me to memorize and store for future use," these words for some reason made Momo's heart sink.
"Don't talk like that , Nemu! It's too sad!" Momo cried as she looked at the other with sad eyes.
"I was created by my master to be resilient. Pain of this sort should be no problem for me. Pity is wasted on me, Lieutenant Hinamori," these last words sent a shiver down Momo's spine. They sounded so familiar.
"I understand," Momo said with a smile as she stood up from her kneel, "but that doesn't mean I'm not going to help you, Nemu."
"I see. Pain has left my body weak. There is a strong pain killer stored on the counter over there. If you could retrieve it for me I would appreciate it. Its purple color," Nemu spoke softly.
Momo smiled as she moved to the counter. She grabbed the purple fluid's flask and examined it. It certainly didn't look (or smell) like a pain killer but Momo figured she could trust Nemu on this. Before turning back to the girl on the floor she glance once more at the green mystery fluid.
"So what's this green one, Nemu?" the young lieutenant asked innocently.
"Oh. That is an experimental concentrated growth hormone," Nemu said, causing Momo to almost laugh at herself. She wondered what might have happened had she drank whole flasks of regeneration serum, high-powered pain killer, and concentrated growth hormones. She guessed it wouldn't have been a quiet and peaceful death though. She smiled as she kneeled back down next to Nemu.
"A proper dose would be roughly a quarter of the flask," Nemu said languidly as she stared up at Momo and opened her mouth. "If you would please administer it, my body is too weak to move at the moment."
Momo continued to smile as she eased the small bottle toward the other girl's lips. She tilted it just slightly. The purple fluid, which proved surprisingly thick, began to pour into Nemu's open mouth at a slow crawl. When roughly a quarter of the contents were gone, Momo removed the flask and replaced it on the counter.
"Thank you," Nemu said gratefully, her breath calming down almost immediately.
"It's no trouble," Momo said with a warm nod.
Slowly Nemu managed to lift herself from her horizontal position to a more vertical sitting position. Once this was done she asked in a low, calm voice, "I musk ask again why you are here, Lieutenant Momo Hinamori."
Momo didn't say anything immediately. She glanced with sad, guilty eyes at the three flasks on the counter, the blood splattered everywhere, the severed limb and the broken girl. Finally she said after closing her eyes in reflection, "I honestly don't know anymore."
"Trespassing on a facility belonging to another division is a criminal offense," Nemu spoke in her typical withdrawn fashion.
"I'm sorry. I guess I'll be leaving then," Momo said softly as she turned toward the door.
As she made her way back to Fifth Division, Momo realized she had been really, really stupid lately.
A/N: End chapter 1. Gah, damn emoest thing I ever wrote. Hopefully the over the top angst was at least mildly amusing. I don't honestly think Momo is this far gone, but for the sake of the pairing it seemed my best idea. Momo X Nemu certainly is looking to be interesting. After coming of a quite good Unohana X Soi Fon fic this one looks to have potential as well. Hopefully I can cut the angst back in future chapters. Mayuri pretty much guarantees this will be a dark fic. As a fan of his character, I'm going to make sure I portray him as being as cold, ruthless and twisted as possible. Anyway, hope you enjoyed chapter one. As usual with first chapters, it was a little short by my standards.
For my uninspired poll of the week, I asked which Bleach captain was the fav. I was surprised to receive a perfect tie between the top two, Soi Fon and Kenpachi, each receiving 25 out of 45 voters votes. Those are certainly two of my favorite (Soi Fon being my favorite and Kenpachi being roughly sixth or seventh). Unohana and Kuchiki placed third and fourth respectively with 14 and 13 voters for them. Hitsugaya, I was happy to find, only managing a sixth place finished. There were only six Mayuri fans in the bunch, most everyone else finished incredibly low. Poor old Yamamoto didn't get a single vote.
Anyway, please review, and feel free to participate in the current poll.