windroars: (hitsugaya; cool cat)
Wind ([personal profile] windroars) wrote2012-01-25 04:53 pm

Fanfiction || The Narcissus 07

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 Seven

To Each His Own

~*~


“There aren’t that many safe ports in Hueco Mundo. Surely you’ve found one by now.”

“But of course, dear Miss Rangiku. Did you doubt me?”

“Spare me the theatrics, please. Where are we headed?”

Kisuke Urahara noted the young captain’s weariness. The storm had left them all with little sleep and a long day ahead that was now only just reaching its half way point. Yelling at Zaraki had obviously drained her energy. He smirked. There were only two women in this world that dared stand up and compete against Kenpachi Zaraki. And she was one of them.

He had talked to the other not too long ago, and it seemed things were getting interesting. “I rather feel like seeing an old friend,” he intoned, a mischievous glint in his eyes as he resituated the striped bucket hat atop his unkempt blond hair. “Good, old Isshin always has spare supplies.”

Rangiku brightened almost immediately. “Isshin’s place is perfect. The whole town is crawling with sympathizers and immigrants,” she commended the blond. “Not only should he be able to get the ship back in order in no time, but he’ll have plenty of information. I may even be able to buy a little rumor or two....”

Urahara’s smirk could only grow. Buying a rumor from Isshin Kurosaki, eh? It was times like these that he remembered why he actually stuck around and listened to the fiery, little girl captain. Her schemes could be positively delightful. “We’ll be there no later than sun down tomorrow, my dear,” he made flourish of bowing, with a tip of his hat and all.

She smiled, a genuine smile. Those were rare these days. “Good,” she nodded.

She was already halfway out the door when Urahara added, as an afterthought, “You know, I heard that our little whitey threw a fit and pounded the prince down in the sick bay.”

When she did reply, her voice was strained. “So what?”

“Just thought you might like to stay informed is all,” he waved it away with a grin.

Rangiku just huffed and left, leaving him alone once more. Or so he thought.

“You’re looking smug,” came a light chuckle from behind him. “That can mean only one thing. You just meddled in someone else’s business.” A pause as Kisuke Urahara’s smirk widened. “I want to hear everything.”

“Tsk, tsk, my dear Yoruichi,” he scolded playfully, not bothering to turn around. “That would be rude.”

“Yes, it would be. Now, out with it.”

“I was merely speeding things along,” he conceded as he felt her hands creep up to his shoulders. “Hitsugaya certainly isn’t about to tell her anything, and so the arduous task falls to me.” By the way he spoke, one would think he had taken up the cross.

“But Kisuke,” Yoruichi frowned, pulling back from his shoulders to look him in the eye, “even he doesn’t know. Otherwise, he never would have-”

“Of course, he doesn’t know,” Kisuke cut her off with a wink. “It’s much more fun that way.”

Yoruichi looked surprised at first but quickly broke out into a laughing fit. Urahara seemed quite satisfied with this reaction. “But if he doesn’t know that, then what does he know?”

“More than he’s telling us, at any rate,” he sighed, sobering slightly. “I know his origin and I know what he stands for, but I’ve wracked my brains and all my records, and there is hardly any information out there that will tell me anything about him or what he’s doing here. He’s quite famous, or perhaps infamous would be the better word, but there is just so little that anyone seems to want to say about him.”

“There has to be something. What could he be so famous for?”

“My dear, misguided Yoruichi, why are you asking me as if I don’t know the answer?”

“You just said that you didn’t know what Hitsuga-”

Urahara put a finger to the woman’s lips, his mischievous grin so wide that it was a wonder his face could still contain it. “What I said was that no one seems to want to say anything on the matter.”

Shihouin lifted his finger away with a knowing pout that wasn’t quite as effective as it could have been seeing as a smirk threatened to upturn the edge of her lips at any moment. So this was what he was going to play at, eh? “Then what is the kid so famous for? Other than being the prince’s own playmate?”

“Well, it says right here,” the blonde wiggled an old newspaper clipping in her face. “So you see?”

Yoruichi did see, but she didn’t dare answer for fear that what she saw really was what he intended her to see. Because if it was, things were going to get very complicated, very quickly.

~*~


Rangiku Matsumoto was more than a little frustrated. She’d never admit it to Urahara, but what he had said bothered her. She didn’t really know why. Perhaps it was just some old status system drilled into her head after so many stories about the last brave, honorable, and noble King of Seireitei. Royalty was supposed to be sacred, a place filled by only the best of people, and it only seemed to accentuate Hueco Mundo’s twisted ways to have their prince be beaten around by someone as low as Hitsugaya.

Or maybe, just maybe, it was because she had so much trouble picturing him doing something like that. The thought made her pause. All the people of Hueco Mundo, not just the Loyals, were supposed to be nothing more than a pack of cruel bastards. Hitsugaya was definitely a cruel bastard. So why...? Why did she have this feeling? It was almost like...

“I am not noble. And he won’t die.”

It was almost like she didn’t want him to be.

She quickly shrugged it off. She had more important things to think about; she couldn’t afford to waste her time on trifles. Not anymore. Not like she had before.

After about fifteen minutes of searching, she finally found who she was looking for. Two young men were leaning back against the wall in front of the open doorway to one of the Narcissus’ many storage rooms. One was huddled into himself, knees up and head stuffed between his legs and his stomach. The other was watching him, brows furrowed in what might have been anger. She was extremely surprised, however, when she discovered which one was which.

When Hanatarou Yamada saw her walking toward them, he put a finger to his lips before quietly standing up and coming to her instead. Hitsugaya remained where he was, huddled into himself. It wasn’t right, she thought, ignoring the hesitant prince for the moment as she stared down at the huddled servant. He looked for all the world like he was a little kid on time out.

“Uh... er...” the prince rattled on, his voice barely above a whisper. “He’s sleeping so... if you have anything you need to tell us... er- I can tell him later.”

Finally, she tore her gaze away from Hitsugaya. “You can’t just wake him up?”

“No.”

Rangiku almost couldn’t believe what she’d heard. He’d gone from timid and fretting to decisive and unmovable with just one question. These people just didn’t make any sense to her. “Fine then,” she acquiesced, lowering her own voice. They were far enough down the hallway that she doubted he could hear, but the sudden change in Yamada’s demeanor seemed to suggest she shouldn’t talk much louder than him anyway. “I just came to tell you that we’ll be landing in Hueco Mundo tomorrow, under the cover of night. But we won’t leave the ship until morning. I think... I’ll be taking him,” she gestured toward the sleeping servant, “with me. I have someone I want him to meet. I can’t afford to take you; otherwise you two might try to escape.”

The prince let out a nervous, weary chuckle. “Trust me. Keeping me here won’t stop him from escaping.”

She huffed, folding her hands beneath her over-grown breasts. Hanatarou involuntarily blushed. She remembered what had been bugging her earlier, and she turned back to Hitsugaya. “Prince Yamada...” she trailed off, the prince jerking back to look up at her as if afraid she might decide to become a giant, shark-toothed demon temptress at any moment. “Why do you let him treat you the way he does?” There. She’d asked it.

He only looked down at his feet. “What do you mean?”

He was obviously uncomfortable. Alright. She’d start small, but she wouldn’t back down now that she had finally asked. “Well, for starters, why do you let him call you Yamada when he should be calling you ‘Your Highness’? And while we’re on that topic, why do you just call him Hitsugaya? Doesn’t he have a rank or anything?”

The young prince bit at his lip. “Well, ah... because we made a promise.”

It was too weak of an answer. Matsumoto wasn’t going to accept it. “What kind of promise?”

“Well... um... When things happen... sometimes you think about them because of other things, and you know that no one’s trying to hurt you or bother you, but it still hurts you anyway, especially when you can’t tell them why it hurts, and so you try to endure it and you try to endure everything else, but that one thing keeps coming back and just won’t go away, and you even try telling people, but they don’t listen because you’re not important enough, and everything just gets worse and worse until you can’t stand it anymore, and you need to do something, but you still can’t, and it just makes you want the whole world to end, it makes you want it so badly that you’d do anything, you’d even k-!”

He had worked himself into quite a frenzy as he went on. It had begun quiet enough, but the further he rambled, the more anxious and nervous and louder he became. And when he saw Hitsugaya twitch, he immediately silenced himself. The two waited a moment in silence, but he did not move again. She turned back to Yamada, who had gone back to looking at his boots. She had believed his earlier answer was too weak, and she rather thought this one was too strong. It was amazing, the almost bi-polar nature the prince seemed to have developed. A thought occurred to her at that. He was only that way when Hitsugaya was involved. She was surprised out of her epiphany when Yamada unexpectedly continued.

“A... A long time ago, we- we promised to call each other by our names and by our names only,” he asserted to his feet. “That way... rank wouldn’t have anything to do with anything.” His eyes flung up to Rangiku’s with an almost desperate expression in them. “Please don’t think he’s a bad person, Captain Matsumoto. He cares about things; he really does. H-He just doesn’t know how to show it. I know he cares about you guys too. That’s why he’s so angry. He doesn’t want-”

“Did he care about you when he hit you like that?”

“Yes.” She stared down at him with incredulity. He smiled, a hesitant, almost non-existent smile but a smile none-the-less. “I... I’ll tell him about landing when he wakes up.”

She sighed, her shoulders slumping. This was way too much for one girl to handle. They were supposed to be her prisoners, for pity's sake. “You know what?” she grunted, hastily drawing herself back up as she turned away. “I’m not much for titles either, so how about we make a promise too. You call me Rangiku, and I’ll call you Hanatarou. How about that?”

She could just make out his beaming smile in her peripheral vision. “Of course, Miss Rangiku!”

~*~


“‘Please don’t think he’s a bad person, Captain Matsumoto’?”

Yamada whirled around at the unexpected, mocking voice. “H-Hitsugaya! I-I didn’t know you were awake.”

The servant snorted haughtily. “It would be impossible to sleep through all that noise you were making. Honestly. You never cried to me so much about your stupid title. If I had known it upset you to that extent, I would have kept using it.”

If he had had the courage to admit it, he would have told himself that his companion was only acting this way to try to prove him wrong, to try to prove to everyone that he really was a bad person. But despite what he thought, he didn’t have the courage to say it out loud, and so the young prince went right back to staring at his feet. They seemed to be getting more and more fascinating with every passing minute. “I- I wasn’t talking... about me.”

Hitsugaya froze, eyes narrow as they glared at his knees. There was a moment of tense silence as Yamada very nearly wet himself, but finally his companion shrugged it off. “Whatever. It doesn’t matter. I’ve slept long enough. It’s your turn. You can tell me what she wanted in the morning.”

“Ah,” Hanatarou brightened slightly. “Does that mean you slept well?”

Hitsugaya turned away with a frown, but none-the-less, he still answered. “…Yeah,” he grunted. “I suppose I did.”

“Then, maybe, this could turn out to be a good thing,” he looked to Hitsugaya, hesitant but pleading, “right?”

He sat back down beside the gruff servant, getting comfortable once more. Hitsugaya never did answer the question, but he didn’t mind. He hadn’t really expected him to. He had told him to wait until morning, but he felt he should say something now anyway. Perhaps more for himself than for Hitsugaya, if he was going to be honest. He sighed. “She said she was going to take you with her, when the ship docked.”

Hitsugaya took the information in stride, his eyes fading out in contemplation. “Did she?”

And Hanatarou fell fast asleep, confident that come morning Hitsugaya would know exactly what to do.