A/N: Okay. I was finally able to start this. Hope it is good. Like all the others, it's a yuri story. If lesbian content offends you, you are in the wrong place. It's also a mature story that will contain sexual material; if you cant handle that, you can leave as well.
Disclaimer: I do not own Bleach; I do own a copy of Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon that wants me to play it.
"So, useless wretch, do you understand the message you must deliver?" spat Master, a coldness in his eyes.
Nemu nodded quietly as she stared ahead. "It is understood, Master Mayuri."
"Very well. See to it immediately. Do not make me wait, and realize that if it is bad news with which you return you will be the object on which I vent my anger," Master reaffirmed, intensity in his eyes. Nemu didn't question it.
"Understood," she said softly.
"Then why are you still here? Leave at once, you pathetic creature," Master shouted coldly; shoving her toward the door.
Nemu stopped herself from stumbling and scurried out, issuing the words "I'm sorry" as she did so. She could hear Master offer a hard derisive laugh in response.
Nemu wore a sad expression on her face as she looked up at the sky, now outside. She usually wore a sad expression. This was peculiar, as she wouldn't say she was sad. She fulfilled her preset purpose of serving Master in her best capacity, there was nothing about that of which to be sad about. Of course, Nemu likely didn't understand the emotion of sadness in its correct sense.
Nemu didn't understand a lot of things. She was just a tool to be used by Master as he saw fit, yet constantly she had these thoughts within her brain that betrayed that purpose. She wished she could silence the pain, the fear, whatever it was called, and become a more perfect tool, one that needn't be scolded and punished ad nauseam. For some reason thoughts of doing just this, removing those undesirable qualities, resulted in the expression she wore.
Nemu's mind grew quiet as she approached the typical housing of her quarry. She stared the building up and down before approaching it tentatively. She knocked at the door twice. When no answer came after a full minute's time she knocked twice more. When still no answer came, she determined that it was time to find another solution with which to complete her assigned task.
Tracing the perimeter of the building, she searched for some hidden opening. It was only logical that there would be one, but Nemu's eyes detected nothing. Luckily, by the time she reached the back of the large divisional headquarters, using her eyes became unnecessary; her ears had picked up sound nearby. She followed this sound immediately.
She soon reached a large clearing; she had seen such clearings before. They were the lands in Seireitei set aside for use as divisional training grounds. Division 12 didn't have one. Master didn't believe in training his squad members. The ones that weren't smart enough to be of use in the Research Institute were delegated to the position of being disposable pawns.
Approaching this training field, Nemu noticed it was densely populated. It had to be the whole division standing there. Facing them all was one figure. Nemu recognized her at once as her target of search. She nodded as she thought to approach immediately. She stopped herself from doing so, however; she could hear her quarry beginning to address the crowd in a booming voice.
"Listen well, shinigami of the Second Division, members of Soul Society's elite Special Forces! Dark times are upon us, we can not allow any weakness to show through! If you are afraid; silence that fear; let no enemy see weakness in your eyes, only strength! If you are in pain; silence that pain; do not stop in the face of your enemy, do not slow down until you have breathed your last breath!" the Captain of the Second Division, Commander of the Special forces, Nemu's quarry, Soi Fon, shouted with absolute power. All the shinigami gathered there, whether they wore a standard shihakusho or hoods and stealth ware, stood firmly at attention.
"Soul Society's new enemy, the arrancar, the traitorous shinigami captains, our battle against them will not be an easy one or a brief one! The Special Forces must be prepared! We cannot let our swift and silent blades become dull! We must train and train hard so we are ready when the time for battle is upon us!" she continued, her subordinates still facing her, standing silently; rigidly.
"Each and every one of you, find a training partner! You shall square off, fight one another with the intent to kill behind your blades. Fight! Fight, and no not fear injury, one seldom betters oneself without seeing one's own blood! Fight until you can no longer stand! Fight until you can on longer fight!" the woman gave her final orders. Her division sprang at the words immediately, the second division training grounds were soon filled with the sounds of zanpakuto clashing with one another. Only one man in the crowd didn't jump right away.
"Uhhh… everyone's already started already… guess I don't get to fight then," the man, who Nemu recognized from her Lieutenant's meetings as Marechiyo Omaeda, started in a hopeful voice, his natural tone, loud enough to carry itself over to where Nemu stood nearby, despite the sounds of battle.
"Is that an attempt at a joke, you big oaf! Do you think for a second, I'm going to allow you to escape this!" the captain called fiercely, drawing her sword from it's place at her back.
"B-but Captain…. There's no one for me to---" the large man started, fearfully.
"Draw your sword, Omaeda! Draw your sword and come at me with intent to kill, or you'll end up dead yourself!" Soi Fon cut him off to shout, sword in hand.
"But, Captain… I can't just…" Omaeda said, shaking at the fire in his Captain's eyes.
"Do you think an arrancar would allow you to approach with such hesitance, you ignorant fool!" the woman scolded as she began to charge at the man. She scoffed. "In that case, show me that you can at least defend yourself!" Omaeda drew his sword to deflect the first strike just in time.
Nemu watched this all with much interest. The Captain's fire and intensity was spellbinding. With the cruelty, the darkness, the intensity in her voice, Nemu was certain that this woman who forced her subordinates into intense combat against one another in the dead of night, was just the same as Master.
"What's wrong, you oversized moron?! Is this the best you can manage?!" the woman shouted as she effectively launched Omaeda's sword from his hands. "a truly plebeian effort…."
"O-oversized…! P-plebeian…!" the words left the man with anger in his eyes, he flash stepped to his sword and pulled it from the earth. "Even if it's you, Captain, no one talks to me like that…" Angrily, he called out, "Crush, Gegetsuburi!"
His zanpakuto than took the shape of a large, spiked, chain-flail. He gave a fierce battle call as he twirled the no doubt heavy object over his head before tossing it straight at his Captain. Soi Fon quickly flash stepped from the weapon's path. Omaeda pulled hard at the chain to draw it back toward him. Turning around, he correctly anticipated Soi Fon's angle of attack and blocked it with his heavy spiked ball.
The Captain initiated a high speed combo, offering slashes, kicks and strikes, one after the other with her sword in quick succession, her whole body progressing through a series of flips and jumps in the process. Omaeda put up his best defensive, timing his parries and back-steps as best as he was able to in order to effectively avoid damage.
Eventually, Soi Fon had to flip back to collect herself. Omaeda took this as an opportunity and launched Gegetsubari into a fierce sweep at his Captain from the side. She wasn't quite quick enough to avoid it. She caught the heavy ball with Suzumebachi, but the incredible force, still sent her flying quickly to the ground. His Captain, lying face down on the ground, Omaeda looked like he had the upper-hand now, but for some reason he withdrew his weapon.
"Eh, you all right, Captain?" he asked, looking down at her.
"Sting all enemies to death, Suzumebachi…" the woman said in a whisper. She then disappeared momentarily. When she reappeared her small, stinger like shikai was positioned inches away from Omaeda's neck, which already had a strange butterfly shaped mark on it.
"C-captain…" Omaeda started fearfully.
"Silence, you bulbous worm! You've lost! I told you to fight me with the intent to kill, and yet you've failed miserably! Do you think the arrancar will allow you even a moment's hesitance in delivering the final blow!" the woman spat, kicking her subordinate to the ground coldly and reverting her zanpakuto to its basic form, then sheathing it.
"B-but Captain, you aren't an arrancar! I can't just kill you…" Omaeda said, shaking his head as he stood.
"Idiot! If it were possible for you to kill me, do you think I would have presented you even the smllest opportunity!" Soi Fon scolded, turning her back on the man in disgust.
Nemu noticed that most the other fights were reaching a close. Many of the shinigami were lying injured on the floor. She wouldn't have been surprised if some of them were actually dead.
"Shinigami, of the Special Forces, listen, and listen well! You have done well tonight. We will train in much the same fashion tomorrow night, and the night after, and the night after that until the true fight is upon us! Only then will we surely have the strength necessary to defeat our enemy!" Soi Fon addressed her subordinates. "You may all be dismissed!"
The shinigami who were able to move all disappeared seemingly at once, leaving a sea of injured, defeated men and women.
"Captain, what do we do about all them?" Omaeda asked tentatively as he examined the shinigami populating the ground.
"As punishment for your idiocy, you will see every one of these other losers to the Forth division, Omaeda. Be quick about it; if you allow even one of my subordinates to die, there will most certainly be repercussions!" Soi Fon informed in a powerful voice.
"But Captain, isn't that a little---" the large man started. He didn't get very far.
"Silence! Is this really the time for you to be running that big mouth of yours, you fool! Remember what I have said!" the woman chided.
"Y-yes, Captain…." Omaeda sighed in defeat. He got to work. Nemu decided it was time for her to make her approach.
There was a strange feeling in her stomach as she stepped across the training field. She wondered how best to address this woman. Everything she had observed, told her that this was a person just like Master. This gave her a strange level of comfort, but also of fear and anticipation. She approached the woman from behind before making her presence known.
"Captain Soi Fon, may I have a moment of your time?" she asked in a soft voice. The female Captain turned around, surprised.
Nemu's heart stopped as her eyes met those of the woman. Everything she had observed had told her that Soi Fon was the same as Master; the woman's eyes at that moment, however, were the same as Nemu's. Nemu suddenly understood nothing.
"You! You're of the Twelfth Division…" Soi Fon started, clearly alarmed by the other's presence.
"Y-yes," Nemu started, still unsure what to make of the woman who shared her sad expression.
"Well? What is it you wanted?" Soi Fon asked impatiently.
"M-my Captain… he wishes to discuss something with you…" Nemu said in a quiet, pendulous voice.
"I have nothing to discuss with that man," the woman said, turning her back on the other.
"Please! I…. If you don't…" Nemu's started, but quieted herself. She couldn't say things like that. She didn't understand why for just second she thought she could.
"He's threatened you if you return with a refusal, hasn't he?" the Captain said sharply, looking at Nemu again.
"It would not be proper for me to say anything more," Nemu said in a low tone.
"Pathetic," the Captain sighed. "Living a life in subservience to a master is the ultimate sign of weakness. There's no life more hollowing," she said with a reflective somberness. Nemu stated at her, for some reason amazed.
"I-I…" Nemu started, strangely at a loss for words. If this was Master, she would have forced an apology even if she didn't understand the offense, but for some reason she couldn't just do that with this woman.
"I'll talk with your Captain tomorrow. Tell him that," the Captain said, in cold voice of finality.
"A-alright…" Nemu said softly, but the woman was already gone.
She began to walk quickly in the direction of her home at the Twelfth Division, unsure what to make of the encounter with the Second Division Captain. It left her feeling strange. She was suitably quiet as she entered the building wearing the same sad expression she had left with.
"That took longer than necessary, you miserable doll. You better have brought me the news I want to hear!" Master spoke, as soon as Nemu was inside. He was there, as if he had been waiting there.
"She has agreed to meet with you tomorrow," Nemu replied tentatively, sure she was to be reprimanded.
"You damned bitch, I told you to bring her here immediately!" Master said, pushing Nemu into a wall.
"I'm sorry… Master… she was hard to approach… I was surprised to get even this much from her…." Nemu commented darkly. She was promptly kicked into the wall.
"Do you honestly think I want your miserable excuses?!" he shouted kicking her twice more. She soon felt some ribs crack.
"I'm sorry…." Nemu said shaking horribly.
"Perhaps the meeting is unnecessary; perhaps I can just use you for everything instead," Master said bitingly, kicking Nemu down the hall, flipping her over several times, leaving her in even worse pain.
"Ughh…" Nemu said, trying to lift herself, but failing. Master grabbed her by the collar.
"Eh, looks like you're too far broken to be of any use at the moment," he snarled. "So be it. You at least partly served your capacity tonight."
With that, Nemu was thrown forcefully into the cold wall, falling to a slump on the ground as Master walked away. She didn't have the strength to get up. She couldn't go anywhere. She just stayed there in the corner on the floor until she passed out from the pain.
Nemu awoke the next morning in the same spot. Most of the pain was gone. Nemu's unique body meant that she was always quick to recover from injury. She was thankful for that. She didn't understand sadness, but she was sure it would encompass her if her body were not so resilient.
With some effort she forced herself off the ground, supporting herself against the wall. She soon found her balance and began to walk naturally. She moved toward the main laboratory, sure that was where Master would be. Her guess was a correct one.
"There you are, worthless wretch, I was beginning to think a little internal bleeding would force me to create a new doll," Master said impatiently, glaring at Nemu.
"I'm sorry, Master…" Nemu said with hesitation.
"Pathetic worm…" Master grumbled as he turned back to his work.
"You're a disgusting man, Mayuri Kurotsuchi," a voice said, causing Master to turn back around immediately. Nemu turned as well; that woman, Second Division Captain Soi Fon, was standing right behind her.
"I didn't call you here, Captain, to be judged by you," Master replied harshly.
"I realize this. How you treat you're subordinates is your business, not mine," Soi Fon said coldly, approaching the man.
"Of course not. From what I heard you make no friends among your own underlings," Master said, smirking.
"I suppose that's the one thing we have in common, Mayuri Kurotsuchi," the woman said with a cold laugh.
"Maybe so," Master said with a small nod.
"But you didn't call me here to talk about divisional discipline, did you, Captain Kurotsuchi?" Soi Fon spoke in a low voice. Master smirked again.
"There is a request I would like to make of you, Captain," he started with a slight laugh.
"I'm listening…" the woman replied with a faint glare.
"According to the data we have thus far gathered, these arrancar are a dangerous foe. Head-Captain Yamamoto had instructed us Captains to do everything in our ability to prepare for the fight with them," Master began to speak in an easy voice.
"Go on," Soi Fon nodded.
"In complying with the Head-Captain's order, I have been working on special experimental supplements that would theoretically escalate the fighting power of any shinigami," Master continued, coming to an eventual pause.
"Power obtained through an unnatural means can't beat power obtained through rigorous training," Soi Fon said, frowning.
"Perhaps not, Captain, but wouldn't any power obtained be to the benefit of Soul Society?" Master poised a question, still wearing a smirk.
"What exactly does this have to do with me, Captain Kurotsuchi?" the female captain asked cuttingly.
"These supplements remain untested, and while normally I would use my own subordinates in that capacity, at a time like this it seems hardly appropriate to waste the lives of men capable of wielding zanpakuto when this could be avoided," Master spoke, his expression unchanging.
"I still don't see what you're getting at, Kurotsuchi," said the other, just as steadfast.
"The Second Division… no, the Special Forces you command… has unique influence over many facilities within Soul Society that the other divisions do not. I wish to have access to one such facility," Master arrived on point. Soi Fon smirked, the others intentions clear to her now.
"I see. You speak of my Detention Unit. You want in to the Maggot's Nest so as you can lay claim to some of the inmates to carry out your twisted experiments," Soi Fon said, still scowling bitterly.
"It's the best course of action I can see. Why waste the lives of able men when a den of the dangerous and mad, a place from which not a soul will be missed, exists within Seireitei's walls? I ask only your permission, Captain," Master said, a look of amusement on his face.
"I don't know how you can say that when you were more heavily caged than any man in that foul cave at one point. How can you call anyone else dangerous and mad?" the female captain had clear hostility in her voice.
"It's not my label, Captain, but that of you and the rest of Soul Society. If the lot of you have already deemed these men unfit to exist among us, why then can I not extract at least some purpose from a small number of them?" asked Master. "From what I know of you, Captain Soi Fon, you lack the compassion and righteousness that fills so many of our fellow Captains almost as much as I do, or at least that is the display you show the world."
"One thing I don't lack is honor, Kurotsuchi. I can't just agree to something like this," spoke Soi Fon, resolute.
"Even when it could prove wholly beneficial to Soul Society in its current time of crisis?" Master pressed.
"I always thought that man a fool for allowing you to leave that place back then, but I'm not about to let you return now," Soi Fon snarled, bitterness clear on her face.
"Then I won't. My lieutenant shall select the inmates to use in my stead," Master said, now frowning.
"Her?" Soi Fon started looking over at Nemu, who stared at the two Captains blankly.
"Of course. Would you prefer that, Captain?" asked Master, his eyes falling on Nemu as well, a certain familiar danger within them.
"I'll consider it," said Soi Fon, turning her back on the other.
"That won't do, I'm afraid, Captain. I'd really rather prefer to have a straight answer," said Master, returning to his frown.
"The only straight answer I could give at the moment, Kurotsuchi, isn't the one you want to hear. Allow me a day to think it over, and just maybe you'll get the answer you want," Soi Fon snapped back. Master grumbled.
"Have it your way, woman, but realize I am not a patient man," his frown deepened as he said this.
Soi Fon gave a short laugh and then disappeared.
"What a rude, insufferable person…" Master commented as he turned back to Nemu. "She seems to have left me in a foul mood, wretched doll."
"I'm sorry, Master," Nemu spoke softly. Master roughly grabbed her by the neck.
"Hmmph. Yes, I can think of some experiments I've been meaning to try with you," he threw the woman forward to the center of the room. "Come, let's not waste any more time."
"Yes, Master," Nemu said obediently as she was tied to the laboratory bench.
As she was greeted by the pain with which she had become accustomed, Nemu found herself wondering one thing. Did the strength that existed within that woman, Captain Soi Fon, exist somewhere inside herself as well?
A/N: End chapter. I had a bit of a struggle deciding how I was going to do this. I wanted to differentiate it from my Momo/Nemu story, so I chose to go with a Nemu perspective, even if it seems somewhat difficult compared to how Soi Fon would have been. It's fortunate that I'm starting this at a point where Soi Fon has been prominent in both the manga and anime recently, I think it's helping me get the nuances and different sides of her character. My Omaeda was more accurate for sure at least (not that most people should care).This is actually proving to be sort of interesting. I know even with the strong connections between the twelfth and second divisions this is pretty much a crack pairing, but I think I'll manage it.
In case you're wondering there will be no heavy delay on the weekly chapter of Code Geass:AOTCT if you're reading it. It should still be out very early next week.
And, as for the poll. I'm really kind of lacking when it comes to ideas recently. I've asked most the good Bleach questions. Manga readers have now seen the Resurrección of all the known arrancar to hold the rank Espada. As such, I thought I'd see which was peoples favorite (it's no secret that mine is Harribel's.. still don't feel right calling her that, even if it's considered more correct now… Maybe I'll start calling her Tia). if you're following the anime in Japanese, you won't know a good five of these yet, but hopefully you'll still have a favorite in the ones you do know. If you're just following the anime in English, you likely will have no idea what the poll is about, and certain details of this story may confuse you. I'm sorry.