|Untitled, Nanao/Nemu (PG)
||[Dec. 7th, 2006|11:58 pm]
Request by gzan_shadowstar:
Pairings: Unohana/Isane, Orihime/Rukia, Nemu/Nanao (Nemu/Nanao preferred 'cause I've never seen it written before 8D)
Up to three things you want: fluff, angst, longfic
Up to three things you don't want: over-fluff, noncon
Preferred ratings: G to NC-17 and any in between ^.^;
Pairing(s): Ise Nanao/Kurotsuchi Nemu (I KNOW!)
A/N: I had a great deal of difficulty with this, in part because it's Nanao/Nemu (weird yet awesome!) and in part because it's in present tense. It may not have come out exactly ideal- but hey, Nanao and Nemu are both shy ladies. :)
Ise Nanao is a busy woman for whom work is of paramount importance. (Her diligence is unappreciated by Kyouraku taichou, but she perseveres.) To her great relief, today is an errand to the twelfth division. Every time she enters the tenth, she has to try Matsumoto fukutaichou’s terrible cooking, and every time she enters the eleventh, she has to play hide-and-seek with Kusajichi fukutaichou, but Kurotsuchi fukutaichou of the twelfth is blessedly efficient and professional. Nanao briskly enters the twelfth division, paperwork in hand, and there, sitting placidly in the center of the division office, her round bare knees resting on the tatami, is Nemu.
“How may I help you, Ise fukutaichou?”
Nanao can only stare as Nemu sits there, idly flipping through a stack of documents with her single arm. The other arm is completely missing; her sleeve is innocently draped over her bereft shoulder.
“Ah- Kurotsuchi fukutaichou- have you- you seem to have misplaced your-” she stammers, foolishly.
“My arm is in for repairs,” Nemu responds, with an evenly modulated voice, as unperturbed as if she is ordering takoyaki for lunch. “What is the purpose of your visit?”
“I had to come to speak- but perhaps I should return-” Nanao cannot hide her shock. So the unkind rumors are true- Nemu really is a constructed being, a well-calibrated machine pieced together to serve as Kurotsuchi’s ideal lieutenant. The idea is repellent. She allows herself to examine the kneeling form of the woman in front of her: the powder-white nape of her neck, the sloping shoulders, the one bird-like wrist, the pinkened bare knees. Her face (now that she thinks of it, isn’t it unnaturally doll-like?) remains still and impassive. Nanao finds herself besieged by a sudden wave of pity. “Kurotsuchi fukutaichou, I had wanted to discuss with you matters related to the Shinigami Women’s Association. Her own clipped, polite words ring false to her own ears- how embarrassing that her composure could be so easily shaken! “Perhaps we could meet later to talk- maybe over lunch?”
Nanao, priding herself on being efficient and sensible, arrives everywhere five minutes early. There in her customary private room of her favorite teahouse in North Rukongai is Nemu, with her fingers (all ten of them, Nanao notes with relief) wrapped around a cup of jasmine tea.
“You’re early, Kurotsuchi fukutaichou- my apologies for making you wait.” Nanao finds herself again startled by Nemu’s expressionless perfection.
“Not at all.” Nemu pours a cup of tea for Nanao. “For what purpose have you called me here?”
Nanao kneels, crossing her ankles behind her hips. The tea is too hot to drink right away. “Kurotsuchi fukutaichou, please excuse my rudeness in asking such a forward question.” Nemu nods in assent, and her eyes remain flat and placid. “From what I have seen… is it true that your body is a gigai?”
“Yes. I am a body designed by Mayuri sama.” There is almost a clever little smile on her lips- but that must be an optical illusion. “But don’t you mean to ask a different question?”
Nanao’s breath catches for an instant. No amount of candor or bureaucratic self-righteousness would have normally induced her to ask something so private. “And your soul…?”
“Also artificially created. In the twelfth division, approximately forty years ago.” Nemu was definitely smiling now, as if showing off her flawlessly molded facial muscles and cleverly fashioned social awareness.
“Ah, that’s… that’s…” Terrifying, she thinks. “…incredible,” she says. In truth, she finds herself disappointed. Reliable Nemu, for all her dispassionate demeanor, is sober and thoughtful and, all in all, one of her favorite members of the Shinigami Women’s Association. To be informed now that she is a mere artificial contrivance… well, it’s all a bit galling.
“Is that so? Most people find it off-putting.” Nemu’s little white hands fold over themselves neatly.
Nanao, having forgotten all her careful manners, finds questions coming to mind unbidden. Instead of speaking, she takes a sip of her tea and burns her tongue, frowning. “It must be very difficult,” she finally responds, diplomatically.
Nemu’s silence continues awkwardly through several minutes, stretching like strands of natto. “Of course,” she answers, plainly, as if it were an appropriate response.
A week later, Nanao has completely abandoned any pretext for seeing Nemu. She simply gathers her composure and a bouquet of lilies of the valley and walks to the twelfth division.
“Kyouraku taichou has been harassing me with flowers and I thought I’d put them to better use this way,” she lies, hanging the bamboo vase on Nemu’s wall. She notices that the other lieutenant is watching her with open curiosity. “I hope I’m not interrupting you in your work.”
“Not at all,” Nemu replies, wide-eyed, neatly placing a stack of papers on her desk.
Nanao sits, business-like, on the tatami across from Nemu. Several minutes pass in complete silence. On closer examination, Nemu is really a beautifully constructed creature, a testament to the ability of the twelfth division. The perfectly white round knees, the strong, narrow ankles, the long trailing braid, the cloth lying flat over her breasts, those quiet, guileless eyes… Nanao casually reaches forward and rests her palm on Nemu’s hand.
“Do you find this inappropriate, Kurotsuchi fukutaichou?”
“I do not mind,” Nemu answers, blushing in a way that is charmingly organic and not a bit mechanical. Nanao decides she can put off her work for a bit longer.