Rated M for yaoi and violence
Disclaimer: Bleach isn't mine and never will be. Like I'd have let all those delicious Espada die if I did!
Author's Note: I've had this done for a while, and I apologize for not posting it. I wanted to let the manga get further ahead though so I could add some canon happenings too. Again, please remember that this is still really AU. As you can see, the warning have changed from naughty tentacles to violence. That's only for this chapter and only one small part, but I thought I should warn you anyway. There is character death actually somewhat on-screen, but please remember that the way I feel about characters is not the way the other characters feel. I don't hate the ones I'm warning about. I think Luppi would though, that's all.
Flames do nothing but make me laugh, although I'll listen to any CC you have. Please read, review, and enjoy! Finished 04-27-10
"Come on kid, wake up." Luppi groaned as the foot nudged at his head none too gently, his brain racing to remember why he was on the floor, and his head and arousal throbbing in painfully different ways. All he could remember was that he was about to get Toshiro to return the favor and something…hit him? Whoever it was, they must have been huge to hit so hard. "Don't tell me Momo hit you hard enough to do that much damage."
"Momo?" he questioned incredulously. That definitely didn't sound big and burly. "Who the heck is Momo? And stop kicking my head!"
"Toshiro's best friend and Aizen's old lieutenant." She paused before giving his head one last good bunt, smirking a bit when he yelped and finally sat up to get away from her feet. "That was for threatening to skewer my lovely body. Twice." Luppi rubbed his head before climbing to his feet and frowning up at her.
"Twice? How did you…?" Her smirk widened, liking the way his eyes narrowed in suspicion. Even with what she was about to do, she wouldn't forgive his taunts that easily.
"You didn't actually knock me out, that's how. I couldn't move or say anything at first, and by the time I could, Toshiro looked like he was enjoying himself. Since you weren't a threat at that point, I pretended I was out of it and let you finish. Too bad Momo cut it short, I wanted to see what he'd say…" Luppi rolled his eyes. Yeah, he'd wanted to too…
"You…you wanted to see what he'd say? Really?" When she didn't show any signs of joking, he sighed and shook his head. "Man lady, you're a real voyeur, huh?" Her eye twitched at the attitude she was getting, even after she'd gone through the trouble of waking him up. Oh, this kid was something all right… But that was the point, wasn't it? That attitude was just what he needed…
"My name's Rangiku Matsumoto thank you very much, and don't you dare call me a pervert after what you did." Luppi might have blushed if he had a bit more shame. As it was, he only giggled a bit before sobering again and fixing her with a serious gaze.
"Look, what do you want from me? If it's a fight you want, I gotta say I'm not really in the mood. Even if I didn't fight a lot, it does take a lot of energy to keep Trepadora going…"
"Calm down," she interrupted, "I'm not looking for a fight. Just listen up, okay? I'm willing to forgive you for wishing harm upon my body multiple times if you do me a little favor." He eyed her holding her fingers a few centimeters apart critically, wondering what she could possibly want from him.
"My Captain is…" She paused, wondering the best way to put this… "He's kind of... Well, you've seen him, you get the gist of it. He doesn't open up to people and what you did to him today was his first intimate experience, I'd put all my money on it." He didn't ask how she was so sure. He wasn't sure he really wanted to know.
"So, what then?" he questioned, sounding more annoyed than he felt. He wasn't about to let her know that fact pleased him more than it should. "You want me to make an honest man outta him? I didn't get him pregnant, sheesh!"
"Don't give me that, I know there was more to it. He's not going to admit it though…so I'll just have to take the initiative for him." She paused, her smile melting away to a solemn expression. "You aren't an Espada. You've been abandoned. You can't tell me you have anything left here."
"What's your point?" He questioned, really wishing she'd get to her purpose for all of this. He was loath to admit it, but she had him curious now. There must be a reason she mentioned her captain and the fact he was alone. But surely she couldn't be suggesting what he thought she was, right? "It's not like I have anywhere else to go. I can't just waltz out of Hueco Mundo and go with you all."
"But what if I told you that you could? That we can pull strings? For your loyalty to Soul Society, we could make sure you weren't killed. Would you do it?" Would he? What a stupid question; of course he would. Screw all of those pompous idiots who were dying left in right. What was the point in fighting a futile war with a cause you didn't believe in? Lead by a leader with a god complex and not an ounce of compassion to his followers? Of course he would go where he could live rather than stay and throw his life away. Somewhere with an interesting little captain whom this women wanted him to stay near.
But that wasn't it, no. How could he believe that even if he agreed to her terms that those above her would? Could she really guarantee that those with more power would let him live? That Toshiro would even allow it himself? How could she be so confident in everything?
…Did he really have much to lose in taking the chance though?
"…Yes, I would."
"Excellent!" She exclaimed, clapping her hands together. "Then, let's make a deal. You cooperate with Soul Society and help us to bring down Aizen and his army, and I'll make sure you get to live. You'll have all the time in the world to make Toshiro less…"
"Frigid?" She tried not to laugh at the obvious pun, but it was hard. Very hard.
"Sure, let's go with that. So it's a deal then?" She held out her hand. Luppi didn't have to think twice that time before he took it.
"Matsumoto, what are you thinking? You can't just bring one of the enemy along with you and—" Rangiku waved her hand dismissively at her irate captain, a bright smile on her face.
"I already told you, he's here because he wants to help us fight Aizen, and if we can keep him from getting executed, he'll be loyal to Soul Society. Don't you think having a former Espada on our side is beneficial?" She didn't mention the other reason for bringing Luppi with her; she didn't want to get her limbs frostbitten.
"How can we trust him? He's with the enemy!" Before Rangiku could answer, Luppi crossed his arms and did what Toshiro could only describe as pouting.
"Aw, come on Toshiro, why don't you believe me? I didn't kill you back there did I? I was in the perfect position to and you know it! I'd think after what I did you'd be a little nicer to me! I did treat you right, didn't I?" Try as he might, Toshiro felt himself become flustered at the words, especially considering the audience they had. Stupid Arrancar!
"Y-you! Shut up, and don't be so familiar! It's Captain Hitsugaya to you!" Luppi continued his pout, but his violet eyes held a look that promised humiliation if he didn't get his way. Toshiro called his bluff and just stared back; there was no way he'd say anything in front of two females—
"Man, for the way you were moaning when I gave you head, you sure are being pretty mean…" Rangiku slapped a hand to her mouth to muffle her laughter, and Toshiro thought he'd die when Momo gasped in shock. Or maybe he'd just kill Luppi. That sounded like a good idea.
"Toshiro, is that true? It was consensual?" Toshiro turned to his friend and prepared to tell her that no, it certainly was not and Luppi was lying through his teeth, but his lieutenant chose that moment to speak up.
"Yep, I saw the whole thing while they thought I was unconscious! The Captain's growing up!" …Then again, he could always kill Rangiku first. Surely, Captain Yamamoto would understand.
"Oh my, r-really?" Momo turned to the Arrancar and grasped his clothed hands within hers, ignoring both Luppi's surprised look and Toshiro's completely flushed face. "I'm sorry, please forgive me for hitting you before. I didn't realize you were Toshiro's important person. It looked like something else entirely. But, well, he was very understanding while I was distraught, so… I'll give you both my blessing!" She paused, a dark look crossing her face. "But if you ever hurt him, I will hurt you."
"Thanks, um…" The look was gone as quickly as it appeared and she smiled sweetly at him.
"Momo Hinamori, Lieutenant Captain of Division Five and Toshiro's friend since we were both young."
"Momo. I'm Luppi. Hey, can you tell me lots of embarrassing things about Toshiro when he was younger?"
"Well, if you're his lover then I guess…"
"Oh, I wanna hear this too!"
"WILL YOU ALL SHUT UP?"
Half an hour later, after Toshiro had been restrained by Momo from turning Rangiku and Luppi into ice sculptures, it was decided that perhaps it was for everyone's good if they stopped talking for a while and just went looking for the others. He could tell that Momo wanted to ask questions, but she thankfully kept them to herself. When they finally talked, he was making damn sure it was just the two of them. It was bad enough she thought he and Luppi had some sort of relationship now, which Rangiku's antics weren't helping, and he wasn't going to let that infuriating Arrancar say anything else to her.
He scanned the area as they walked for familiar reiatsu, hoping for someone like Retsu and the other Fourth Division or the Ichigo and the humans. Unfortunately, all he'd caught was Mayuri and Kenpachi, and no matter how much Luppi was pissing him off, he wasn't taking the Arrancar anywhere near either of them. Mayuri would want to experiment and Kenpachi would skewer him. No…he just turned the other way near them.
He refused to think about why he'd want to save Luppi. He didn't have time for that right then.
The news that the Garganta had closed and they were stuck in Hueco Mundo for the time being came as they walked. Momo, not really knowing what was going on anymore, broke the silence.
"Does it bother you that your comrades are dying?" Luppi scoffed and waved him hand in a dismissing manner.
"Yeah right, as if. I sensed most of them die a long time ago. Ulquiorra, Yammy, and Grimmjow are the only ones not dead here, and I couldn't care less what happens to them. The ones who already died I liked even less. Harribel and Starrk aren't that bad, but I don't really like them that much either, so whatever." He didn't mention his intense dislike of their Fraccion. That bitch Sun-Sun was totally copying him. "Actually… Ulquiorra is fighting someone right now. I wonder how long it will take him to die…"
"So, you really don't care then…?" He didn't even need to look at Momo to tell she was a bit unnerved at his nonchalance over their deaths.
"I don't know why you're so worried about that. I told you guys I'll help you fight Aizen's army didn't I? Why would I if I liked any of them? They didn't like me and I don't like them or I didn't know them enough to care either way, it's simple. Just because we're all Arrancar doesn't mean we're friends. Are you friends with all Soul Reapers?"
"That's enough," Toshiro cut in, not wanting to bring the conversation anywhere closer to Aizen's betrayal than it already was. Luppi didn't know what had gone on, and he wasn't going to explain it with Momo right there. "Are we getting closer to the tower Orihime was taken to?"
"Yeah," Luppi confirmed, dropping it for the time being. The girl didn't look like she'd be very fun to tease anyway. "That's where Ulquiorra is fighting… And what do you know, he's not alone!" A cruel smile formed as he felt the familiar reiatsu in the area. Yes, he knew who these Arrancar were…
"Hey!" Rangiku cried as he sprinted off. "Where are you going?"
"Just come on," he called back, not stopping as they ran to catch up. No more was said until the white towers came into view. A loud crash was clear even outside, but Luppi didn't head towards the doors. They finally stopped near what looked like a wall. He turned to the others, looking very pleased with himself. "Like I said, Ulquiorra is in there, and so is Yammy. I'm not interested in them right now though. There are two others, and one of them is obviously pretty pissed off. She's been jealous of your Orihime friend since she got here, and I'd guess she's after her blood now."
"We've gotta help her then—"
"If you want proof that I'm on your side," Luppi went on, ignoring Rangiku's outburst, "then I'll give you a demonstration. I'm not stupid enough to think I could take on Ulquiorra, but…" He paused long enough to poke his hand out of his sleeve and press his palm to the wall. A hidden door immediately slide open. "I can snap that little bitch's neck in a second."
Luppi dashed inside, with Rangiku right behind him. Toshiro was about to enter as well when a hand on his shoulder stopped him.
"We…can we really trust him Toshiro? I'm getting different stories from everyone… I just want to know if… Do you trust him?"
What a question… Did he trust Luppi? He didn't really have a reason to. He didn't even know what Rangiku had said or done to make the Arrancar go with her. Yet, despite his better judgment, he had a feeling that Luppi really did want revenge on Aizen and his followers. He wasn't dead after all, and if Luppi hadn't killed him when he had the chance…
"Yes. For now at least." That was all Momo needed to hear. With a nod, they entered the tower.
Finding the girl in question wasn't difficult. Climbing the tower was enough to find her and another girl, though Toshiro could tell just by looking at them that they weren't all that strong. Certainly not Espada level. Probably not even Fraccion.
'This will be quick…'
"What's the matter Loly dear? Does that hurt? I'm so sorry!"
'If he stops messing around at least…'
"Fuck you," the dark-haired girl spat, struggling to crawl to her dagger, which had gotten knocked away in the skirmish. "You fucking traitor, how dare you—" Her words faded into a gurgled moan as Luppi's foot came down on her back and pinned her to the ground.
"Traitor? How amusing! You see, to be a traitor, I would have had to be on your side in the first place. And as you were always so fond of telling me, I'm just a selfish little bitch, aren't I? Not worthy to be an Espada, right?" He removed his sword and pointed it to her neck. "Funny how I was kicked out of the Espada and yet here I am, able to completely overpower you even without releasing Trepadora. But oh, you aren't laughing! Maybe we should ask your little friend Menoly if she finds it funny…" Loly growled, her face holding an expression of pure hatred.
"Oh, that's right," he continued as if he hadn't heard her, though the blade cutting into her skin said otherwise, "I can't, can I? Because I already killed her! Silly me!"
"Come on Luppi," Toshiro finally spoke up, sounding bored with the whole ordeal, "stop playing and finish her off already. We still need to get up the tower and make sure the humans are all right."
"Aw, you're no fun…"
"Listen to your little boyfriend, you fucking faggot," Loly hissed, still desperately reaching for her blade. Luppi glanced down at her, distain clearly written upon his face…and then he giggled.
"Okay, I will."
It was overkill to be sure, just as it had been with the other girl. Toshiro didn't know exactly what they'd done to Luppi in the past, but judging by what he'd just heard, he could guess. Well, no one had ever claimed the Arrancar were a loving bunch…
"Ready?" Luppi resheathed his sword, not bothering to clean the blood off it.
"Yep!" he all but chirped, looking far too chipper than should be possible after what he'd just done. "And that was smart, having your friends go on ahead. I would have hated to go easy on them just cause we had an audience. That girl looks pretty out of it sometimes…"
"No thanks to Aizen…" Luppi figured the muttered answer wasn't really supposed to be heard, so he didn't comment. He could take a stab at what Aizen could have done to the girl and none of it was good.
As they walked up the stairs, Luppi played close attention to the reiatsu in the tower. Yammy was gone, likely having gone outside to deal with intruders there. Ulquiorra was on the top floor with the girl and some people he didn't know. Rangiku and Momo were a few stories ahead waiting. He didn't know what Toshiro really expected to do once they reconvened. He didn't really expect to go against Ulquiorra did he…?
His thoughts were interrupted as a spike in reiatsu almost buckled his knees. He whipped around to see Toshiro grasping the wall to stay upright as the power intensified further and the tower began to shake.
"What the…" One of those was Ulquiorra, and it was far stronger than his released form. Did he…have a second state? Was he the first of the Espada to attain it? There was another too though, one of the ones he didn't recognize…
"Ichigo Kurasaki… One of those is him." That was the human Orihime had talked about… Was he truly that strong?
The tower shook even harder, and Luppi's eyes widened as he saw a crack appear in the wall behind Toshiro. If Ulquiorra and that human were fighting…
"Dammit, we're right in the middle of their collateral damage… We gotta get out of here right now before the tower falls apart!" Toshiro cringed as another tremor made the crack beside him even larger, but he shook his head resolutely.
"Momo and Matsumoto are still up there. We can't leave without them!" Luppi shouldn't have been surprised at the noble suggestion, but he was. Didn't Toshiro know now was not the time for that?
"Don't be stupid!" he argued, flailing his arms out at the small bits of debris falling around them. "They're smart enough to get the hell out of here too!"
"You don't understand Soul Reapers obviously. I gave them an order and they'll follow it." Luppi wanted to release Trepadora just to strangle the kid for real this time. Was he serious?
"That's completely idiotic! They'll leave when the ceiling starts falling on them. Now come on!"
"No! Go on if you want, but I'm going to get them first."
Luppi didn't have a chance to reply before Toshiro flash stepped up the stairs after the others. He couldn't believe how incredibly irrational Toshiro was being… Okay, so he didn't know him that well, but really, wasn't he supposed to be smarter than that? Was it some weird Soul Reaper virtue thing he didn't get? Whatever, there was no way he was following the brat to his death, no sir…
And yet, somehow he found himself unable to actual move down the stairs. With a groan and a question of his sanity, his sonido kicked in and he was doing just what he said he wouldn't.
'Dammit all, that brat had so better be worth it.'
Being one of the more agile Arrancar, Luppi had no trouble dodging the rubble that fell from the tower and since he didn't see any corpses, he assumed Toshiro was doing fine too. Of course, when an entire part of the ceiling collapsed and there was no time or place to go…
Luppi didn't even get a curse his luck before everything went black.