Author's Note: so, I don't know how accurate Nnoitra and Nel's quotes in italics are, because I'm basing them off of the online translation of the manga. I know they're fairly accurate, but there might be some word-differences. Anyway, so if someone's like, "Whaaaa?" that's where the discrepency comes from. I prefer the online translations anyway. They're a little more adult than the Viz translations.
Anyway, this little one-shot is because I really feel like there is something weird between Nnoitra and Nel. Not necessarily hugs and cuddles (ha, yeah right), but they have a weird relationship. It's not just hate. It's something weird and different and, in Nnoitra's own creepy homicidal way, a little romantic, I feel. So this is me exploring that a little, or trying. I was trapped in a car for 2 weeks basically on a family trip to my brother's wedding, thinking about fanfiction and Bleach. So... yeah. Reviews are good.
Takes place during chapters 290-313. All the quotes are Nnoitra to Nel, except for "That's just an artificial high." That's Nel to Nnoitra.
On the Winds of Hueco Mundo
The only reason one needs to draw their blade, is for the simple sake of drawing their blade.
She'd drawn her blade against me. Finally, after all this time. She'd finally drawn her blade. Metemorphosed into her release state. That glorious Resurrección. She wasn't too high and mighty to fight me for real anymore. She was ready, finally, to fight me for true. Finally ready to kill or be killed.
It was fantastic. Her blade slicing deep across my side, skittering off ribs. My cero blasting toward her, scorching the sand. The blood pumping hot. The lust for battle, for slaughter, like a drug flooding my veins. All I wanted in that moment was the kill. All I wanted was to find her heart with my zanpakutō, or to feel her Lanzador biting deep into my chest. See scarlet bursting from our wounds. Hear her screaming. In rage, or in pain. Anything, so long as I could hear her scream.
My heart thudded against the cage of my ribs 'til I thought it would burst. Neliel, it thundered. Neliel. I wanted her under my hands, under my blades. Wanted to fight her one more time. Just one more time. For real, this time. To the death. To prove I was stronger, or die at the hand of someone powerful enough to destroy me.
Either she would die in battle, or I would. She had no choice anymore. Not if she wanted to save her precious Ichigo.
But then the metamorphosis shattered like glass. She wasn't Neliel anymore. Wasn't my Neliel, my hatred, the slender thorn constantly digging into my side. Wasn't anything but a snotty little brat who couldn't do anything but spit on me. There would be no more fighting. No more bloodshed. No more tests of strength.
I'd lost what I loved. Again. Since I couldn't kill the girl, the one Aizen wanted so much, and pay the shinigami back, I'd do a switch. Make the little human pet watch while Tesla carved up her precious Soul Reaper. See how she liked losing the one she loved.
No matter who it is, I will not be benevolent or merciful.
You kill what you love. You kill what you hate. You kill everything in between. Strength lives, and weakness dies. In this world, that is the only truth. Love and hate are meaningless.
I've known that since before becoming a Vasto Lordes. I knew it when I joined Lord Aizen. I knew it when I underwent the transformation from a weak, pathetic Hollow to an Arrancar. I knew it when I became an Espada.
I had to remind myself when I first crossed blades with Neliel. I had to remind myself that killing what I hated and killing what I loved were exactly the same thing - meaningless. I would kill her not because I loved or hated her. I would kill her because she was weak. Because she showed mercy, pity, compassion. Because she had no business being one of Lord Aizen's Espada. Being the fifth Espada, whereas I was only Espada Eight.
She would die because she was weak. That was what I thought.
But when I had the chance to put an end to her, when I had the chance to finish her off in a shower of blood, I didn't. There was no joy in pinning my blade through her back like I'd pin a butterfly to a board. I found I wanted the rush of battle. So I left her bleeding in the deserts of Hueco Mundo instead.
Knowing she'd be out there, knowing that once she recovered she'd come back and we'd beat the hell out of each other again, should've made me happy. Should've helped hone the edge of my desire to become even stronger. Except she'd turned into that punk little kid. I couldn't kill her, either. All I could do was drown disappointment in the blood I spilled for Aizen. And that was good enough for me.
Until I saw her again. Until she came back, and she was still that weepy, whining, mewling brat.
Hollows are called "hollow" for a reason. We're not supposed to feel joy or sorrow, anger or forgiveness. We are nothing but hunger, so they say. Nothing but an insatiable lust for blood and flesh and reishi and the souls of the living. We are not supposed to feel disappointment. We are not supposed to feel grief.
And in the end, with everything I could not feel weighing my blade and honing its edge, I still could not kill her that second time. I could only knock her aside.
Gasping for my final breath in the heat of battle, gurgling on my own blood... only then am I truly alive.
Then the other came. The shinigami. That Kenpachi Zaraki, Captain of Eleventh Company. I could see in his eye the hunger of a Hollow, the thirst for blood and the song of battle screaming beneath the skin until it echoes in the bones.
I could drown my disappointment in blood again. I could drown the emotion I shouldn't have been able to feel.
And if I died in this battle, so much the better. At least I would feel alive again for a brief moment.
But I could feel an emptiness in the match that should not have been there. Neliel hadn't even defeated me. She'd been thrown back into the weak shape of a child before either of us could truly best the other. Before I could draw the blade of my zanpakutō across her lovely throat and see the hot flood of crimson pumping free. Before she could penetrate my body with the tip of her Lanzador Verde. That was no end to a battle.
I wanted our old battles back. Our old fights, where I could taste her blood pulsing just beneath her skin and she would gasp at the feel of my teeth against her flesh. Where her eyes challenged me with their blankness. Their coldness. Challenged me to fight her with everything I had.
Beast, she'd called me. Animal. Her voice like ice and her eyes as cold as the winds of Hueco Mundo. She could always bring out my more bestial nature.
I would be the beast to her beauty, and I would lap at the fount of her blood.
That's just an artificial high.
Only in our battles did she ever exhibit even a fraction of what I felt - the hammering pulse, the blood pounding through the body, the air searing the lungs with every gasp for breath. The clash of blades, the blasts of cero. I would attack her with everything I had. My blood would burn, my heart would race.
With her, I was alive. I was alive. And I despised her for making me live, for setting me aflame, when she reacted to nearly nothing. Only those rare times when my weapons would catch along the satin of her skin, when the blades would dapple the sweet bright red of her blood along the sand and the moon-whiteness of her uniform, then I would see it. A brief and brilliant flash, like fireworks. An answering heat in her eyes.
And she would come at me. Our blades would meet. I could taste her pulse. Feel her against me as our blades locked together.
All of that was missing from this battle. But I wouldn't let it distract me. I would butcher this idiot shinigami, and once I'd splattered the ground with his guts, I'd shred that Ichigo Kurosaki. Maybe that would bring Neliel out again. Maybe it would bring her back to me, and I could feel her blood against my skin again.
Maybe so, but nothing else can satiate that void.
He'd tried to walk away from me. He'd spat on me the way they always did, the way fools always tried to spit on me and turn their backs, expecting me to lie back and take it. Expecting me to be weak. To surrender to my wounds and give up.
She had done that, too. A lot. I wouldn't take it, not even from her. She'd have to leave me lying in a pool of my own fluids, both legs broken - which she'd done before - unable to get off the ground. That had been Kenpachi Zaraki's mistake, leaving me able to get back on my feet.
"Are you running away like a coward?"
The shinigami spat on the sand and grinned, the false light of Aizen's sky sending glints along his sword. "Ya really want it? Come and get it."
He'd been in my way. One more obstacle between me and Ichigo Kurosaki, who'd been the final obstacle between me and the fight I truly yearned for. Maybe if I broke his other wrist, that little brat would transform back into Neliel. And maybe then I would finally know what it felt like to have Neliel Tu die underneath my blade.
Maybe I would finally have the joy of dying under her lance.
You mind telling me why you stick to me like your my friggin' shadow?
I see it now, almost in slow motion.
False light on white teeth bared in a feral grin. Brilliance gleaming like moonlight on the crimson-stained zanpakutō blade. A blinding arc slashing down before my eyes, slicing through me. Fire erupting through my body. Gouts of blood splurting. And that grin. That grin, so condescending. I could kill that shinigami bastard if I could just lift my arms.
Instead, I fall to my knees.
I can't move my arms. All but one have been hacked off by that zanpakutō. Can't move my legs. Can't get back on my feet. Everything hurts. I can feel my own blood running in hot, sticky rivulets down my face. Feel it soaking what's left of my uniform, making the cloth even heavier. My blood bubbles between my lips and spills over a little.
I won't feel the sucking jolt of my blade piercing Neliel's chest. I won't see her blood staining the veridian strands of her long hair, or smearing across the roseate mark spread across the bridge of her nose. Won't see that cold challenging light fading from her eyes.
And she will never splash my heart's blood across the pale Hueco Mundo sand. She will never hear my final breath rattling in my chest. Neliel. My Neliel, my hatred, the razor-edged stone in my shoe, the poisonous thorn in my side, the bloodstained edge of my blade, the irritating shadow that haunted my steps...
Gasping for my final breath in the heat of battle, gurgling on my own blood... only then am I truly alive.
I hear her whisper my name. I thought she'd forgotten me again; her memories of war and strength and blood locked behind that cracked mask and the scar she received at my hand. But she still says my name the same way even now. Even after everything, there's still that look in her eyes.
It's just a flicker now - a ghost-flame slowly being snuffed out by the damage I've done - but it's still there. I can see it plain as the blood streaking my skin and staining my claws. All this time I thought it was a challenge. She'd called me an animal, no better than a beast. A mindless killer. But it's not just challenge in those lovely, so wet eyes. It's sadness.
Why? She can't hear me. I wish she could. I'd scream the words at her. Why are you sad? This is what I wanted. I was your enemy. Why do you care?
And then I remember when I asked her something similar. Why did you save me? Why are you my shadow? And she'd given me an answer that had infuriated me. She'd said, Simple. You're weaker than me.
The rage had sent the blood pounding through my temple. I'd tasted the hot copper of it on my tongue. I hadn't realized what she was saying then.
Not you're weaker than me. Instead, I want you to become stronger than me. I want us to fight. I want us to do battle for true. And she'd wanted it for the same reason I still want it, even while the blood pumps from my wounds. Because... because...
Neliel. You kill what you hate. You kill what you love. You kill whatever falls in between. Neliel, my hatred. Neliel... Nel... my...
The winds of Hueco Mundo carry my name to my own ears. Her voice is different now. A child's voice, high and lisping. It's not the voice I remember. But at least I can die with my blood gurgling in my throat, the sand cutting into my back, and her voice in my ears as it all fades to black.
I can't think of a better way to leave this God-forsaken world.
Author's Note: so I wasn't sure quite where this was going to go when I wrote it, but I like where it went. I hope you guys like it. I'm not exactly a Nel/Nnoitra shipper. It's more like, I enjoy exploring the potential that is hinted at by certain things in the manga/anime.
For example, when Nnoitra and Nel end up with their blades at each others' throats, and Nnoitra holds back as Nel does. Nnoitra asks Nel why she hesitates, and she asks the same thing. Nnoitra gets flustered and then says, "Because you did! Duh! I just wanted to know why you paused." Somehow, I doubt it. And I've always wondered if Nel had a softness for Nnoitra for a reason.
So... that's where this came from. Hope you enjoy. Reviews are love? =D