windroars: (hitsugaya; cool cat)
Wind ([personal profile] windroars) wrote2012-01-23 01:54 pm

Fanfiction || The Narcissus 02

Title: The Narcissus
Fandom: Bleach
Main Characters: Hitsugaya Toushirou, Matsumoto Rangiku
Rating: R
Genre: General/Alternate Universe/Adventure/Suspense/Romance
Warnings: Historical inaccuracy, violence, some language, sexual abuse, and undetailed sexual scenes (both consensual and non-consensual)
Timeline: The Narcissus takes place in a fictional corner of the world around the late 1600s and early 1700s, when the golden age of piracy is beginning to wane. It centers around three particular countries that are entangled in rocky alliances with each other after a war that left a bad taste in a lot of people's mouths.
Summary: Rangiku Matsumoto is thrust into unwilling captaincy when former captain Gin Ichimaru is captured by the royal navy. In a moment of drunken desperation, she drags her crew down with her to kidnap a prince and force a trade. But who is this boy by the prince's side, and why can't she tell what he's thinking?


~*~

Chapter Two

Pretty Damn Stupid

~*~


“So? What do you see?”

Two men stood a fair distance from the newly-docked galleon, watching the proceedings from behind a large stack of crates. One of the men was looking intently through a telescope as the other scrutinized several passers by. He tucked a bit of dark hair back behind his ear, rating each of the passing men’s hairstyles on a scale of one to ten, ten being equivalent to his own. This wasn’t very interesting at all, considering that most of these men were Loyals working on the ship they were spying on and therefore all shared the same military-issued cut. At least it was better than staring at his partner’s complete lack of any hair at all. And speaking of thick skulls...

“Oi, Ikkaku!” he shouted, banging the other upside his head, obviously not privy to the concept of spying. “What are you ogling over there!?”

“A pansy rich guy and his pretty boy assistant,” Ikkaku grunted in reply, either unphased by or completely unaware of the fact that he had just been hit.

Yumichika Ayasegawa quickly snatched the telescope for himself, not caring at all about the eye it had been attached to. “Pretty boy? Ah. You’re referring to the white haired one? I suppose he is rather handsome, very soft on the eyes, but he could never compare to me.”

Ikkaku Madarame snorted. “But who’da thought it?”

“Hm?”

“Rangiku was right. There really is somebody worth somethin’ on that stupid ship.”

“Don’t go jumping to conclusions, Ikkaku,” Yumichika scolded, wagging a finger at him. “Hueco Mundo’s royalty is pretty diverse. There are dukes and lords aplenty that wouldn’t even be worth Captain Ichimaru’s little finger.”

Ikkaku stole the telescope back to take another look. “I dunno, Yumi. With those crazy robes? He’s gotta be worth somethin’ at least. Maybe an arm or a leg?”

“Don’t even joke about that. We get the captain back in one piece or Rangiku skins us alive. You know how she gets at times like this.”

Ikkaku lifted his eyes from the telescope, raising his brow in question. “Ya mean like... this time of the month?”

His question was met with another blow to his cranium. “No, you hairless dolt! I mean when Captain Ichimaru’s involved! You know they were lo-” but before he could finish, Yumichika was interrupted when a stray newspaper flew right into his face.

Ikkaku allowed himself another snort of laughter at his partner’s expense. Served him right for that hairless comment... “Yeah, yeah. They’re madly in love and want to make tons of little, squinty-eyed babies together. So how are we ‘sposed to figure out if he’s worth somethin’?”

“Oh, he’s worth something, alright. A whole lot more than your pathetic existence. Or mine.”

“The hell are you talking about, Yumi?” Ikkaku growled, whirling around. “Didn’t you just say that we can’t assume anything?”

Before he could say anything more, however, Yumichika shoved the newspaper in front of him. “Read this,” was all he said, but his tone of voice was enough to keep Ikkaku quiet long enough to do so. The baldheaded man’s jaw plummeted.

“No way.”

“Apparently, there is a way.”

“Ran’s gonna want to know about this right away.”

“Of course.”

And the two men hastily headed back to the ship, confident that if they could pull this off, they’d have Gin Ichimaru back in charge before they could even say “jackpot.”

~*~


Renji Abarai was the first to greet them when they arrived. He sat on the post designating their ship’s dock, not even bothering to stand up as the two hurried toward him. “I take it you found something?” he smirked. “Ran’s in the Captain’s cabin.”

At this, however, Yumichika halted, turning a confused stare on his redheaded comrade. “The Captain’s cabin? But she hasn’t let anybody in there since…”

“She’s had a bit of a change of heart since she heard there were Hueco Mundo Loyals in town. She even called herself Captain,” Renji replied, slightly amused at the idea. But his good mood died when he added, “Just don’t go overboard with it, okay? She acts like she knows what she’s doing and all, but she’s the one without a clue. I can’t believe she’s really gonna go through with this….”

Ikkaku rolled his eyes. “Well, now she is,” he grumbled. “We bagged ourselves a goldmine with this. There’s no way she’ll back out when she hears the news.”

Renji narrowed his eyes at the man, before finally hopping off of the post. “If it’s that big, I’m coming with you.”

“The more the merrier,” Yumichika chimed as they boarded the galleon and made their way down to the Captain’s cabin.

Yoruichi Shihouin stood at the door, arms folded across her barely-covered bust. Her long, purple hair was up in a loose bun that wound around once and fell back down to create a sort of ponytail. Renji looked this over with interest. Yoruichi hardly ever took the time to do her hair up as fancy as that. He wondered if it was Soifon’s doing. After all, wasn’t that kind of hairstyle reserved for the upper classes? He was interrupted from his thoughts when Yoruichi opened her golden eyes to look them over. She smiled. “Ran’s been waiting. You better get in there before she throws a fit.” They nodded and entered.

The sight that met them wasn’t a surprising one. If Yoruichi was right outside, then it was only common sense to assume Kisuke Urahara was nearby. The erratic navigator and Rangiku were huddled over a collection of maps, pointing out key locations and plotting the best route to Hueco Mundo’s largest port, Resurección. They looked up when the three men entered, a knowing smirk crawling its way across Kisuke’s lips a little reminiscent of their former captain’s infamous grin. Renji frowned. Why was it that that man always seemed to know everything beforehand and yet made it a point not to tell anyone anything? It was annoying.

“So?” Rangiku Matsumoto asked, waiting for an explanation.

“We found this as we were watching the Loyals’ ship,” Yumichika offered her the newspaper. “Everything fits. He’s the one.”

Rangiku scoured the page, Kisuke removing his signature bucket hat to better peek over her shoulder. Her pale eyes widened from under her concealing hood as she read aloud, “It was truly a celebration to behold when the Sixth Prince of Hueco Mundo, the youngest heir to the throne, exchanged wedding vows with one of the beautiful daughters of ally country Rukongai’s esteemed ruler in Hueco Mundo’s glorious capital, Las Noches. The festivities shall continue for several days, but the young prince has volunteered to conduct the annual talks with Seireitei’s royalty in the well-known capital of Soukyoku in light of his current achievements. We shall all wish him luck and haste on his journey, so that he may return to his patient bride.”

Silence. Then: “We’re right in the middle of the two capitals, aren’t we?” Matsumoto finally breathed. “If they somehow couldn’t restock at the last port, they’d have no choice but to restock here. It really does fit.”

Now it was Renji’s turn to ask. “So?”

“So,” interrupted Yoruichi playfully as she stepped into the room, garbed in the stark white uniform of the Loyals, “it’s time to play a little game of tag.”

~*~


Hitsugaya turned his head up toward the masthead, squinting through the moonlight at the man situated there. “What do you see?” he shouted, hand cupping his mouth so that the sound would travel farther. The man peered over the edge, giving him a quizzical look.

“Nothing really,” he replied. “Weather’s fine, and the land is hardly in view any more. Just some greenery aft the stern, is all. And another ship that took off a bit after ours.”

Hitsugaya immediately tensed. “Another ship?”

“Yeah, a big galleon like this one. I think it’s actually a bit bigger, to be honest. But that doesn’t really mean anything. We just left a port town, after all.”

The young man sighed his acknowledgment before heading below deck. Sure, they had just left port, but that particular port had not been an official one nor had it appeared very friendly toward the Hueco Mundo government at all. He couldn’t blame them, not really. But the least they could do was try to hide their utter and complete contempt.

As he stepped off the ladder, an unfamiliar face met his, which was surprising seeing as he was fairly certain he would have remembered that face had he seen it before. Honestly, anyone would be hard pressed to forget a figure like that, not to mention those brilliant, golden eyes. “Who are you?” he asked, his own eyes narrowing. “And what are you doing in the men’s quarters?”

Yoruichi Shihouin had not expected anyone to pick her out among the crowd, so when someone did just that, she found herself rather amused. She whirled around to face the someone, surprised to have to look down to do so. But when she recognized his face, she realized it wasn’t so surprising after all. He was one of the men who was in charge of the ship, and he matched Ikkaku and Yumi’s description of the person who had been with the prince as well. Well then, time to play. “The name’s Nyoko Takayumi,” she replied with a curt bow. “And I was looking for a friend of mine who seems to have disappeared on me.” When he continued to eye her accusingly, however, she decided it was time to really improvise. “I know what you’re thinking,” she began, playing at annoyance. “You’re looking at my hair and asking why it’s so long when I’m supposed to get it cut as part of my initiation into the navy. Well, I’m not exactly of the type of social class that usually enters the navy, but I wished to support my country in any way I could. However, my hair is important to several ceremonies concerning my entrance into womanhood and my initiation into the head of my family, so I requested that I may keep it as is. And my request was accepted, just as I gratefully accepted my term as an officer.”

She was just about to continue her pointless banter when she finally received her desired effect. The young man had clearly lost interest in what she was saying and cut her off before she could say more. “Yes, I’m sure,” he huffed. “Thank you for you service.”

And he was gone.

She let out a sigh of relief before trumping off to the women’s quarters. She had scoped out enough of the ship to execute their plan. Now she just needed to wait until night completely fell, and when that happened, she wanted to make sure she was in the right position.

~*~


It was dark, dark enough that one couldn’t see much farther than one could reach. But Yoruichi seemed to have no problem with it as she crept through the small hallways leading toward the crowded men’s quarters. She found the spot she was searching for, a plank of wood secured to the upper hull. She slid the plank away to reveal a small hole filled to the brim with explosives. She’d have to thank Mayuri for those later, but right now, she had a job to do. She took out a match, struck it against the wood of the ship, and lit the fuse.

And then she was out of there. After all, fireworks were best viewed from afar.

~*~


A resounding boom reverberated painfully in the space between Toushirou Hitsugaya’s ears as he shot into an upright position. The entire ship was shaking, and there was a distinct slant to his floor. His eyes widened as he disentangled himself from his cot and ran up to the deck. All was chaos. His men were running everywhere trying to settle the ship, but it wouldn’t stop rocking. It didn’t take a genius to figure out what was wrong.

They were under attack.

And when a grappling hook latched itself onto the side of the ship, not inches from where Hitsugaya stood, he knew just how likely it was that they were going to survive this. They weren’t. “Hitsugaya! Hitsugaya!” came a familiar wail from the other side of the ship as none other than Sixth Prince Hanatarou Yamada himself ran toward him. “What’s going on? Why is this happening?!”

“I told you!” Hitsugaya screamed in his frustration. “Pirates! They recognized the royal insignia and attacked!” He grabbed the prince’s hand and dragged him across the deck to where several men seemed to be attempting a hasty debate. “Report!” he demanded, his voice sharp enough to be heard over all of the excitement.

“An explosion, sire!” one of the men, still looking rather shocked, quickly replied. “It killed at least half of our men and crippled the ship. We’re going down, and we’re being boarded! What the hell are we supposed to do?!”

Hitsugaya didn’t know what to say. All he could do was stare at the wild-eyed man before him as the prince cowered at his side. What were they supposed to do? They were all dead. And this hopeless daze of his wasn’t going to change that, returned his reason. His eyes narrowed, and he clenched his fist as he met the Loyal eye to eye. “We fight back of course, you imbecile!” he shouted, waving his arm wildly at the panic aboard his ship. “Stop thinking, and start killing them! That’s an order!”

The man saluted. “Y-Yes, sire!” he shouted, then turned to the others. “You heard the man! Take your swords, and cut their ropes! If any of them make it over, kill them!”

~*~


Hanatarou was on the verge of fainting from sheer emotional overload. He was scared, excited, worried, and appalled all at the same time. The ship was rocking back and forth much more than it was supposed to be; nearly a fourth of the entire deck was covered in flames; strange, scary looking people were climbing up and over the side of their ship; and everyone around him was engaging in life or death battles. No, he told himself in his horror, they were fighting death or death battles. Death by sword, or death by ocean. And the worst part of it all was that Toushirou Hitsugaya was one of them.

That guy may bully him, yell at him, and call him a coward, but they had been together for a long time, and Hitsugaya had saved his life more than once. He didn’t want to see him die. Not now. Not when they were so close...

He ducked through the fray, having miniature mental breakdowns every time a blade moved within a foot of his head. He kept his head down as far as he could muster, arms cupping it for dear life, all the while shouting the name of his companion. Finally his efforts were rewarded with a tuft of white hair dipping up and down as the person below it grappled with one of the invading pirates. Locked sword to sword, the two held a battle of physical strength and will before Hitsugaya tipped him over the edge. Hanatarou came running to his side, and he acknowledged him with a curt nod as he turned back to peer over the side. Hanatarou did not like the expression forming across the young man’s face. Not one bit.

“H-Hitsugaya...” he trailed off, but he was interrupted by a very strange sight indeed.

One of the pirates, a peculiar man with no hair, was standing before them holding his sword out in front of him as he completed a sort of dance. “La-La-La-Lucky!” He repeated the chant a few more times as Hitsugaya and Yamada watched, not knowing what to think. “I’ve found the Prince! Today’s my lucky day. Now surrender, kids, and I won’t have to hurt you.”

Finally, Hitsugaya smirked, and Hanatarou felt whatever bravery he may have ever had in his life dissipate instantly. “Not a chance,” the white haired man replied.

He then proceeded to jump onto the railing, yank Hanatarou up with him by the wrist, and dive down into the ocean’s roiling depths.

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