quiet_curiosity: (Default)
quiet_curiosity ([personal profile] quiet_curiosity) wrote2007-12-23 10:42 pm

Fic: Inner Take (Ishida/Nemu) for [livejournal.com profile] 31_days

Title: Inner Take
Fandom: Bleach (An End of Soul Society Arc Fic)
Characters: Ishida/Nemu
Words: 880
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Bleach is the brainchild of Kubo Tite and is distributed by Shueisha in Japan and Viz Media in the US. I receive no monetary benefit from this work.
Summary: Everything she does confuses him. He just can't turn away

Written for [livejournal.com profile] 31_days. Theme 23 - Do I want to know?
* * *
He hadn’t heard her slip into the room. For about five minutes, they co-existed peacefully. But then she decided to move forward and the scraping of her sandal against the hard floor startled him. It was just a brief fright, but it was long enough for him to lose track of what he was doing. It only took a moment for the spectral needle to finish with his cloth and prick his finger.

Nemu didn’t hesitate. Ishida watched as her hand slipped beneath her Vice Captain’s sash and retrieved a small vial. Helplessly, he witnessed her sprint across the room and yank his hand away from the sewing machine. She removed the vial’s cap with her teeth and began to vigorously shake its pink contents into the wound. Ishida bit the inside of his cheek, afraid to yelp as his finger began to tingle and itch. Yet, in less than a minute, the pain subsided. He looked down to see the completely healed finger.

“What did you do?” he asked, his voice slightly shaken.

“This is used to fix minor wounds,” she said as she slipped the cap back into the vial. “I always carry some with me.”

“As you carry the antidote?”

“Amongst other things, yes.”

“Why do you take all of this with you?”

“I have to be able to heal myself,” she explained. “My Father does not appreciate it when he has to constantly look after me. And there are always others who may need my assistance.”

Once again, Ishida found himself biting the inside of his cheek. There were so many things he wanted to say. But referring to Kurotsuchi Mayuri as the monster that he was would not do any good. He had already witnessed the depths of her devotion. To say such a thing would only mock it and, as misguided as her devotion was, he didn’t want to turn her away. “Do you need this kind of care often?” he asked, voice strained.

“We all do,” she said. “No one exits a battle without a few wounds. Some leave the battlefield with more issues than others.”

“And how do you fit into that spectrum?”

“I do as I’m told. Because of that, I never have a default level of injury.”

“You could always do something else, couldn’t you? There are other divisions.”

“I was made to do as I do. I’m grateful for what he has given me and…”

“So being grateful means that…” he began to say. But a glance up at her face revealed that her normally smooth brow had furrowed into something that resembled disturbance or worry. “Perhaps I should just stop,” he whispered.

“I’m sorry that I disturbed you,” said Nemu.

“No…it’s…I’m glad you came. I didn’t expect to see you again.”

“Nor did I.” Her face perked up a bit as glanced around him at the sewing machine. “What are you doing?”

“I’m making clothes for the group for when we return home.”

“Oh. May I be of assistance?”

“Can you sew?” he asked.

“No but I am a swift learner and can do anything you instruct me to do.”

“Oh.” He glanced around and noticed the drops that had dribbled onto Orihime’s shirt. “Well, I need to get these out…”

Nemu nodded and retrieved a small tube from behind her badge. “I have just the thing. Mayuri-sama insists that we always look presentable, regardless of what has happened to us.”

“Do I want to know when this could possibly be useful?” he asked.

“I have found that I loan this out to certain acquaintances more than I use it myself.”

Ishida couldn’t help but notice a small grin begin to slip across her lips. He turned around to retrieve the shirt and said, “Pull up a stool.”

And so they sat there for a while: Ishida attempting to recreate Chad’s outfit and Nemu working diligently at the stain in Orihime’s skirt. Normally, Ishida liked to work alone. The presence of other people bothered him to the point of distraction. But it was different with her. Something about her was calm and non-intrusive. He often found himself glancing to his side to make sure that she was still there. Often their eyes would meet and both would smile at the other as best they could. He could tell that this was a kind of attention that she wasn’t used to. That was fine. He wasn’t used to such things either.

Ishida didn’t know how much time had passed before he heard her rise from the stool. He watched as she gently laid the shirt out on the table. Just as expected, the shirt looked as good as new. “I have to leave,” she said. “Thank you for letting me sit with you. I hope I wasn’t a bother.”

“No, thank you. It was nice to have some company.” Ishida watched as she walked toward the door. Just before she walked out, he asked, “Why did you come here tonight?”

“Mayuri-sama has finally reached the point at which he can care for himself. I…I needed to leave for a while. I just happened to find you.”

“Well, I’m glad that you did. Goodbye.”

“Goodbye.”

In a moment, she was gone. Instantly, it seemed to him as if the room had gone dead. But he couldn’t reflect on that. He had outfits to finish.