disclaimer: disclaimed.
dedication: to Briony. Secret Santa gifts = love. HAPPY CHRISTMAS, DEAR.
notes: apparently, whenever i write Nnoitra, he… angsts, wtf. or bitches continuously. dude, idek. and also that NnoitraNel = poison in my head. this is not good.
notes2: UST ALL OVER THE PLACE.

title: khlorophorm kisses
summary: AU. There is Nnoitra and there is Neliel and there is name-calling. Very mature. — "I am going to break your face."

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She walked through the school doors like she owned the fucking place.

Neliel Tu Odelschwanck was a lot of things, but she was not the kind of girl to show apprehension when fording her way through a very new school, because that was weak, and Nel was not weak.

She was strong; the kind of girl that tossed teal hair over her shoulder, and smiled coyly at all the boys in the hall. She was strong; the kind of girl that everyone got along with. She was strong; the kind of girl that laughed a lot and worked on cars and danced on tables. She was strong; the kind of girl that was… different.

So she walked through the school doors like she fucking owned the place; her shirt too loose, translucent blue-white and hanging off her shoulder, skin-tight jeans, bag too big, stilettos too high, hair in her face, a girl with a mission written in her eyes.

A low, smooth whistle met her ears.

Nel smiled, waggled her fingers in the sound's general direction, and headed towards the office, the swing of her hips slow, sensual, pronounced.

"Slut."

The voice was male, low and soft as a breath of wind, and from right behind her.

Neliel froze, a shiver of disgust running up her spine.

She hated that word.

"Excuse me?" she hissed, and whipped around.

And was faced with a sneering face of some guy. "Ya heard me, kid."

Nel sneered right back at him. Who the hell was this jerk (with hideous fashion sense, if she could add — seriously, orange plaid pants? Ew, not classy) to talk to her like that? She was a lady. "No, I don't think I did. What did you say to me?"

"I calls 'em as I sees 'em, princess. Slut."

"And who are you, trailer trash? Get out of my face before I stab your eye out with my patent leather stiletto," she hissed, again.

The guy continued to sneer, the smile stretching across his face vile, a distinctly revolting leer. "Yer wearing witch shoes, princess. They'll do shit all 'ta me. M' Nnoitra."

Nel smiled with her lips pressed together, and restrained the urge to throttle him. "Well, Nnoitra, I'm not pleased to meet your acquaintance, and if we're lucky, I'll never speak to you again. Goodbye."

She turned on one pointy heel, and walked into the front office, teal hair dancing behind her.

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Nel was good at making friends.

She always had been, always would be; it was innately part of her, to laugh, to draw people to her like moth to flame. Right then, she was sitting between two other girls (one named Nanao, and the other named Rangiku), and they got along famously.

"You already pissed Jiruga-san off?" Nanao asked, stunned. "That usually takes a week. He usually doesn't pay attention to new students."

Rangiku roared with laughter.

Nel shook her teal head ruefully. "What was I supposed to say? He called me a slut!"

Rangiku continued to roar, her head thrown back, strawberry-blonde hair falling down her back in a cascade of red-gold. Nanao just rolled her eyes, pushed her glasses up her nose, and shrugged.

"He is always like that," Nanao said, clinical and all science.

Nel flipped her hair over her shoulder. "Then he better learn some manners. I don't put up with that, I don't care who he is. He could shit rainbows, and I'd still find him repulsive."

Nanao just smiled. "What do you have next, Neliel-san?"

Nel tilted her head, and glanced down at the schedule that was tucked carefully in between in books. Her eyes lit up. "Auto! I have auto next!"

Rangiku grinned, and looped an arm around Nel's. "Nice! See, 'Nao-chan, I'm not the only one!"

Nanao rolled her eyes, again (Nel could see that, with a friend like Rangiku, it was apparently a habit that eventually developed), and nodded. "You'll be joining us for lunch, then, Neliel-san?"

Nel grinned, silly and so much like herself. "Sure, Nanao-chan. Call me 'Nel', okay? 'Neliel' is too formal for me."

Nanao smiled shyly in return. "Then you must call me 'Nanao', as well, Nel-chan."

"I already do, Nanao-chan!"

The three girls laughed.

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Nel was covered in sweat and grease, wearing baggy mechanic's overalls, rolled down to her hips. A tank top, white, and just as greasy as the rest of her body, was clinging to the everything and the nothing, and Nel could feel the eyes (male, all male; Rangiku was off flirting with some boy with white hair and a creepy, never-ending smile) following her as she moved.

So at this school, apparently, Automotive Repairs was not a class that Nice Girls took. A week in, and Nel was so not impressed.

Sexism. Ugh.

But Nel brushed it off, and let her hair out of the massive green-blue bun she'd been sporting. She felt the eyes follow the long line of her throat, over her shoulder, down the length of her back, hidden, as it was, by her hair. She looked up at them all, and smiled, all teeth and sharp angles.

She could feel them gulp.

Ah, public education.

What a dream.

Nel slipped outside, and helped Rangiku start changing the transmission on a rusty red Beater.

"How old is this thing?" Nel asked.

"Old," Rangiku replied. "Has any one of them asked you out yet?"

"No. How did you—?"

Rangiku laughed. "Nel, seriously. Look at my tits, and tell me I haven't been through it. You're fresh meat. They'll treat you like that until you conk one of them over the head with a wrench, and then they'll leave you alone."

Nel's voice was dry as she said "Personal experience?"

"Oh, yeah," Rangiku snorted. "Don't even remind me, it was tenth grade and awful, but they haven't bothered me since. Don't look now, but someone up on Melancholy Hill is staring at you. He's over there, when he should be down here, helping. Damn Nnoitra."

Nel restrained herself from turning around, and staring at him down.

Nel was good at staring people down.

She whipped her hair back, stretched, and looked Nnoitra Jiruga in the face.

He was sneering, again.

Nel stared at him.

So not impressed.

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If there was one thing that Nnoitra really didn't like about the new girl, it was her habit of talking. She talked to everyone, regardless of what they looked like, or who they hung out with.

Two weeks into term, and she had the entire fucking world wrapped around her little pinkie.

Which he totally didn't understand.

But she talked and talked and talked, and it drove him insane. What he wouldn't do for a little peace and quiet — he'd stitch her lips together, had he the chance, so that she'd never have to speak, and he wouldn't have to deal with the little slut.

Lunch.

She was sitting at the loudest, rowdiest table in the vicinity — of course. She was in between that loud bitch from auto, and a wincing girl in glasses. There was another girl with gigantic tits and barrettes, a tall, strawberry blond boy, a violent little chick-who-looked-like-she-was-ten-or-some-shit, and a couple other boys.

("Oh, my little plastic fantastic!" crooned the barrette chick as she coddled a spork. What the fuck, the redheads in this place were fuckin' nuts. Nnoitra didn't even know what to say, and that, in itself, was a feat.)

Nnoitra sneered at them all.

Fuckin' nuts.

Nel was laughing, a goofy girl with a happy smile.

Nnoitra have never seen something so sickening.

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A foot or eight of no-man's land had developed between them.

They were both aware of it – aware of the growing distance between them, the bubble of space that got smaller or bigger by slivers and slices, depending on the day.

They both knew that it existed.

But neither of them tried to breach it.

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The note, crumpled and stuffed into her locker, read:

princess, i wanna show ya something. rooftop fountain, after school.
N.

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The rooftop was quiet, when Nel finally pushed the door to the roof open. She glanced around, wary.

(Well, who wouldn't be wary?)

But the place was empty.

Nel walked towards the fountain, and sat down on the edge. The sun was warm on her shoulders. The water was cool and clear, and Nel trailed her fingers through it, relaxing unconsciously. She took a deep, deep breath in through her nose.

Calm, Nel, calm, she told herself, and looked to regain her center of gravity. She sat there, on the edge of the fountain, fingers in the water, and closed her eyes.

Darkness.

Breath. Inhale.

Darkness.

Breath. Exhale.

Darkness.

Breath. Inhale—

Sploosh.

Nel shrieked as two hands grabbed at her shoulders, and shoved her backward. Cold, clean water filled up her senses, and Nel scrambled to stand up, and open her eyes. Everything was muted, behind the water and the soaked hair, but the distant, dull roar of laughter was unmistakable.

When Nel finally managed to move all the soaked, voluminous teal out of her vision, was met with Nnoitra Jiruga's laughing face.

He was standing with one foot up on the lip of the fountain, hands shoved in those godawful plaid pants of his, a purple hoodie tied around his waist. He looked so damn smug that it drove Nel, cold and wet, absolutely up the wall. There was a lot shit that Nel Tu Odelschwanck could put up with, but enough was enough.

She was going to kill him.

She stood up slowly, completely unaware of how the wet fabric of that very thin shirt she was wearing clung to her skin. She was completely aware, however, of the way he swallowed, and the way he was watching her like some sort of wounded animal, a wary look in his eyes despite his obvious mirth.

"You are scum," she told him, struggling not to clench her teeth and snarl at him. It was an inward war for composure, and Nel was determined to win.

"Ya? That's nice, princess. Lookit'cha, all wet."

Nel sloshed towards him, her fists clenched suspiciously loosely at her side.

Nnoitra noticed nothing, too busy staring at Nel's chest. She smiled a little, to herself, and took that last step. The edge of the fountain separated them, that foot of no-man's land between them impassable.

But of course, Nel was not the type of girl to let that stop her.

She reached across that empty space, and wound her fingers into Nnoitra's shirt. She tugged him five inches down (she mentally damned his height), and pressed her mouth to his ear.

"I am going to break your face," she murmured to him, sensual and slow, her breath hot against his throat.

The next thing Nnoitra knew, the world was upside down, and there was water in his lungs. He shot up, half-choking, and caught sight of Nel.

That bitch.

She was laughing, her arms wrapped around her stomach. The fountain water was up to her knees, her clothing was stuck to her skin, and there was a leaf in her hair. It stuck out, bright orange against the teal of her hair.

"Friends?" she asked, and stuck out a hand, like this absolved them both of a lot of things.

But it didn't, not really.

Not at all, actually.

Nnoitra grabbed Nel's hand, spider-fingers closing around her wrist, vice-strength and almost-painful. He dragged her soaked body towards his, pulled her flush against him. Nnoitra didn't think he'd ever disliked someone as much as he disliked this girl.

Nel looked up at him, soft mouth, hazel eyes wide.

"I hate ya, did ya know that, princess?" he murmured to her.

"Sure, why not—you disgust me, anyway," she replied, voice just as soft, just as low.

His mouth was hot on hers, dominating and furious, left hand fisted in her hair, too close. Nel was warm, alive, soaking wet, and she kissed her personality into his mouth. Nnoitra's hands closed around Nel's hips, even as she shuddered, and slid her arms around his neck.

The world didn't narrow to the two of them, but Nel didn't realize how far things had gotten, until the point where Nnoitra's fingers brushed along the bare skin of her ribs, mouth along her throat.

Nel gasped when she realized that she'd just whimpered, and that she was making out with Nnoitra Jiruga. She shoved him away, stumbling just a little.

"Get — don't — I — don't touch me!" she hissed at him.

The no-man's land between them roared to life.

Nnoitra smirked, and shook his head. "Slut," he said.

A smile, cruel and amused, touched Nel's lips. "I'm not the one walking around with a hard-on in wet pants."

This wasn't love.

This was war.

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Things just went downhill from there.

It was an unwritten agreement.

Nnoitra would do everything he could to make her life hellish. She would ignore him entirely.

He raided her locker, stole her clothes, undid all the work she and Rangiku did on the rusty red Beater, pushed her into empty classrooms and locked the door. He tripped her, scattered her books, ruffled her hair, and generally made her life a misery.

He didn't push her into water again, though.

But he did everything he could to make her cry, did everything he could to make her scream in frustration. It became almost an obsession; it seemed like he never affected her. She didn't scream, didn't cry, didn't react. Nnoitra wanted to shake her, wanted to rattle her brain inside her head, wanted to hurt her.

He watched her flirt that pretty little blue-green head of her off with every thing that crossed her path, and it was worse, worse then Rangiku, because Nnoitra didn't despise Rangiku.

But Neliel.

Neliel.

Neliel.

Neliel made him angry.

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"Give me back my socks!"

"What'cha talkin' 'bout, princess?" Nnoitra sneered.

Eight weeks into term.

He was starting to hate that she wouldn't leave his head alone; he didn't have to see her to have her running through his head.

(She didn't talk to him if she could avoid it. Nnoitra disliked the lack of attention.

He would never admit it.)

Nel looked crazed, teal hair sprouting out of the back of her head in a bun, grease stains across her cheeks, overalls tied at her waist, eyes narrowed to slits. "I want my socks! They're missing, and I know you took them!"

Rangiku, behind her, looking a little bit drunk, and leaning on the creepy-smile kid's shoulder. "I still think that if you trade socks, you should get married. Just saying."

They both ignored the tipsy girl entirely.

"I want my socks," Nel said, calm.

Nnoitra could hear her grinding her teeth.

It was music to his ears. "Nah, I don' think I wanna."

"You are incorrigible," she told him quietly, outward composure retained.

"Yeah, I am. Wanna fight about it?"

"No, I really just want my socks. My toes are cold."

And on they went.

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"Slut."

They were working on the rusty red Beater. Rangiku wasn't there, that day; according to Nanao, she was sick.

Nel had despaired.

"Why do you call me that? Slut, I mean. Why?"

'Cause it gets a reaction outta ya, princess.

But he didn't say that.

"'Cause it makes ya mad."

"Don't you have anything better to do?"

"Nah."

Had Nel been anyone but Nel, she would have punched his teeth down his throat. "It's just — it doesn't work. It doesn't fit me."

She wasn't sure who she was trying to convince.

"Sure, it doesn't. Lookit'cha, princess, covered in grease'n sweat."

"It doesn't! I've never—"

She stopped speaking abruptly.

Nnoitra stopped screwing in a bolt, and looked at her over the hood of the car, his long bangs falling into his eyes, an incredulous look on his face. There was something different about it—his usually derision was gone, replaced with something that could almost be considered respect.

"You never been'ta Sin City?"

Nel restrained the urge to push those bangs out of his face. She looked down, the dark red of a flush crawling up her neck. "No. I haven't."

She didn't even know why she was telling him.

He was probably just going to use it against her.

But he didn't.

He leaned back, looked at the ceiling, and shook his head.

"Yer too good for this place, princess."

That was all he said.

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Yer too good for this place, princess.

The words hung around her shoulders like a soft, warm security blanket. There was something about them—something about the way they were phrased—that made Nel happy. She didn't know quite what it was, just that it was; Rangiku joked that she'd got laid.

Nel just grinned, and shook her head.

She caught him looking at her, sometimes. It wasn't often, but there was a – a look on his face, one that Nel couldn't place.

(It wasn't until much later that she realized that it was longing.)

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Nel was a calm person. She liked sitting quietly for long periods of time in the sunshine, laying on hills and simply enjoying life.

And that was exactly what she was doing.

Knees up to her chest, Nel wrapped her arms around her legs, closed her eyes, and tipped her face upwards, long teal hair cascading down her back. Winter sunshine filtered down, dripping over her shoulders, down her arms, across her hands, like liquid gold. She sighed, happy.

"What'cha doin', princess?"

Nel opened her eyes at the sound of Nnoitra's voice. "What does it look like? I am sitting in the sun."

"Why?"

"Because it's nice."

It was twelve weeks into term.

Nnoitra stuck his hands into his pockets, and stood at the bottom on the hill. He looked up at her, that signature sneer-smirk in place, wrapped in a leather jacket that was too big in the shoulders, but too short in the arms for his lanky frame.

Nel smiled at him, and patted the ground next to her. The frozen grass was cold through her gloves, but she didn't mind too much.

He stared up her, for a minute, impassive, across the expanse of the hill. There was something insurmountable about the moment, but then, what wasn't insurmountable, between the two of them?

Girl is so far out of my reach, Nnoitra thought. He called her princess for a reason—she sat up on the hill like it was a goddamn throne, and it wasn't like he could ever touch her, even if he wanted to.

He trudged up the hill and sat down next to her, anyway.

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Nel didn't know when they stopped being something like violent enemies, and began being wary friends.

Fifteen weeks into term.

The auto shop was empty.

School had ended for the semester.

Nnoitra was sitting in the driver's seat, in the midst of a fight with the rusty red Beater. It was intent on staying dead, and he seemed just as intent on gunning the engine until it fired up. Nel watched him, a wrinkle between her hazel eyes as she scrunched her nose up.

"You're doing it wrong," she said. "Move over."

Nnoitra grunted, and shoved the driver's seat back, just enough to give her space to squeeze in between him and the wheel. Nel stared at him, stone-faced.

"Out," she said.

Nnoitra's signature grin ripped across as his face, and he gestured to his lap. "'M not movin', princess."

Nel took a deep breath in through her nose to calm herself, and clambered onto his lap, resigned. She sat between his legs, his hipbones jutting out and into her skin. Nel fought not to clench her teeth.

"You are bony and uncomfortable, I hope you know," she told him, prim.

Her hair was in his nose. Nnoitra snorted. "Turn the bitch on, princess."

Nel furrowed her brow, foot on the break, keys in the ignition, pressed closed against Nnoitra's chest. Please work, she whispered to herself, please. I need to prove him wrong, just once. She gunned it.

The engine roared to life underneath her hands.

Nel was about to start cheering. She looked over her shoulder, and up, a little, to maybe possibly grin at Nnoitra because I did it and you couldn't, so haha, so there, take that.

He was far, far closer then she'd anticipated. Nel gulped, her wrist caught in his hand again. If she just tipped her head back…

This was too much like last time.

But Nel couldn't speak, breath caught in her throat.

"'M gonna kiss ya, Nel," Nnoitra said.

She shifted in his lap just enough so that she was leaning against the Beater's door. "Okay," she said. "Okay."

He kissed her, then, and it was just like before, bombs going off behind her eyelids, explosions like fireworks of simple want. It almost frightened her, the implosion of all sanity between them.

But there was no running.

Not this time.

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They were dysfunctional.

There was no debating that. Honest to god, Nel sometimes thought he'd broken her heart; torn her to pieces, ripped her apart, ruined any beautiful thing that she ever could have been.

Those were the worst days.

The better days were made up of car-grease stains and water fights; two people who really weren't suited for each other at all.

But the best days were the quiet ones. The best days were the quiet ones, because neither one of them said anything. The best days were the quiet ones, because nothing needed to be said. The best days were the quiet ones, because they were the ones where Nel knew that Nnoitra wouldn't do anything rash.

The best days were the quiet ones, because he loved her, and she loved him, and that was all that mattered.

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fin.
notes3: a long-ish one-shot. i like it. ;)
notes4: HAPPY CHRISTMAS, BRIONY, ILY. please review, it is Christmas! :D