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Lisa had always been a bit ridiculous. Her clothes always just barely met the acceptable standards, and even her choice of reading material when I was small was absurd. I never cared. I worshiped her. She was everything I ever wanted to have as a friend and everything I ever wanted to be as a person. She was strong, brave, honest, and never stood by watching when she could contribute.

In the end, that’s what got her in trouble. Trying to help, trying to do the right thing. It put her in the wrong place at the wrong time, and it killed her.

Over a hundred years, and all that time I thought she was dead. Until the day I stood before the horde of Arrancar pouring through the Garganta into Soul Society, blasting every kidou spell I’d ever learned.

I still wonder what the hell those idiots in charge were thinking when they left me alone to command the Seireitei with no real back up. Oh sure, I had plenty of seated shinigami, but all the officers, all the souls with real power had taken off to protect the human world. I understood it. Our duty as shinigami was to protect the human world first. That didn’t make it any less frustrating to realize that, once again, Aizen had outmaneuvered us all.

I stood at the front lines, with every kidou-proficient shinigami. We fought with everything we had as the hollows poured into Seireitei. It took all our combined powers just trying to slow the incursion of low-level Arrancar into our world. The unlucky bastards who didn’t have powerful enough kidou were given the unenviable job of trying to battle the ones that made it through our spells. Zaraki-taichou was going to be pissed when he returned, only to find most of his division decimated. I was already dreading the inevitable confrontation; I knew too well just who he'd blame for the whole thing.

It became obvious that one or more allies were making their way through the Garganta from Hueco Mundo, and slaughtering the Arrancar from behind. Whoever came through that tear between worlds was sure to have my undying gratitude for saving our collective butts. Without the much-needed help, we surely would have lost a great deal more shinigami, and possibly the security of the Seireitei as well.

When she burst through the gate, firing kidou from her left hand and slashing her zanpakutou down with her right, I was momentarily stunned. Taking a second to collect my thoughts, I realized it hadn’t been kidou, but a cero from her left hand.

Terror followed closely in the wake of my shock when I beheld her hollow-masked face. In my alarm, I have no idea how I kept from blasting the poor woman with my strongest spell, but I did. Maybe it was the ridiculous schoolgirl uniform she wore over obvious curves, contrasting so sharply with the appalling mask.

I kept at the long-range attacks and even managed to direct the shinigami under my command to aim at the hollows, and not at the masked woman. Though truthfully, without the rumors of Ichigo having a hollow-like mask in his battle with Kuchiki-taichou, I probably would have wondered if Aizen wasn’t just more devious than we already knew him to be.

Another masked woman in a white and orange jumpsuit followed our savior through and mopped up the stragglers before closing the Garganta behind them. I took a deep breath, because that suddenly… it was over. I could feel the sweat pouring between my breasts and down my back and I could feel the ache in my hand and the back of my brain from popping off so many kidou spells without a chant.

When my heart quit racing enough for me to notice my surroundings, the strong metallic coppery smell was the first thing that assaulted my senses. It was a shocking indication of how many injured and dead we had. I gave a cursory glance around, trying not to take in any details or faces of the dead but only assess our strength. I knew if I tracked each dead face in my mind, I wouldn’t be able to continue leading these amazing men and women under my command. A simple bark and the entire Fourth Division swarmed the field assessing, healing, and covering those beyond help.

Through it all, I kept a watchful eye on our apparent rescuers. The Garganta had been farther away than I had first predicted, so I had plenty of time to observe the two women as they advanced. I think that, perhaps, they were being just as cautious, for they never once used shunpo, or sonido. The smaller woman with the green hair broke off at a nod from the one in the lead and began scouting farther out from where the Garganta had been – presumably to eliminate any hollows that had decided to hide out and wait for easier pickings.

As the oddly attired woman in the white bone mask got closer, a strange niggling feeling began building in my brain. Nothing concrete, just the pervading sensation that I should know what was going on. It made the sweat decorating my body turn cold and clammy.

The raven-haired woman in braids and hollow mask stopped twenty feet away, and I readied a kidou spell in the back of my brain, just in case this was all an elaborate ruse.

“May I approach?”

Her voice was melodic and low, similar to the underwater sound of Ukitake-taichou’s zanpakutou when they spoke. I wanted to ask who sent her. I wanted to know why she’d come. Unfortunately, the words were stuck in my throat as I stared at a bone white hollow mask that should have terrified me, but instead held a profound beauty in its deathly countenance.

“Nanao, may I approach?”

I gasped at the use of my name. It startled me so badly I lost the thread of the spell - something that hadn’t happened since I was a first-year academy student. Her question also managed to break the mesmerizing hold her mask seemed to have on me.

“How do you know my name?” I demanded. “Who sent you? Why are you here?”

“Not a very warm greeting for someone who just saved your ass.”

I stood a moment, once again entranced with her voice, her mask, and her bizarre clothes. “I…. We appreciate your assistance. I would have lost much more than twenty percent of my troops, had you not arrived when you did. Though, if you please, could you remove your mask?”

“Ah, that’s the Nanao I remember, always so polite, even a hundred years later. I knew you would do great things. But running the Seireitei, and mopping up their mess, is an even bigger task than I ever envisioned for you.”

Through the entire conversation she’d remained stock still, standing twenty feet away absolutely motionless. I, however, began to get antsy. She obviously knew me, but I was still drawing a blank. I had never been close to anyone when I was a child except…

It couldn’t be. I knew it was impossible; still I had to ask, “Yadōmaru-sensei?” At my question, her hand lifted and the mask dissolved.

I stood looking into a face I knew to be dead, a face so like my own. A face I hated to see in my mirror because I knew she was dead. For a split second, I thought maybe it was a nightmare, but her words were too true and not something I would have imagined on my own.

“Just Lisa.” She smiled.

My heart did a flip. “No, never just Lisa.” My tongue dried to the top of my mouth and I couldn’t get out a single question from the thousands swirling through my brain. There she stood, frozen, as if I would bolt at a single twitch from her. And maybe… just maybe, Lisa was right.

Really, though, I couldn’t see anything to fear. She looked nearly the same as the carefree teacher of my youth, except her constant understated smirk, was replaced with a gentle smile. The laugh lines around her eyes had also been traded in for wrinkles, indicating years of worry and sadness, something she had never exuded when I was a child.

Lisa glanced briefly to the side and crossed her arms. Her shoulders seemed to fold in on themselves. The action made me strangely sad, when I should have been wildly relieved at seeing her alive.

“I’m sorry, I couldn’t ever tell you. You were the only soul I left behind that I regretted.” Closing her eyes, Lisa let her arms fall back to her sides.

I don’t remember anything she said after that, because I ran to her, threw my arms around her neck, and hugged her tight, like the little girl I never was.

***

It was weeks of exhausting clean up and painful memories of all the colleagues who died.

I have no idea how Lisa knew, she just did. On the night I was sure I would explode from the pain and pressure of my command, she arrived at my door with sake and a book in hand.

We talked for hours into the night, and once again she read me some of the most outrageous stories. Only now, instead of tales full of gods, demons, and naughty children, they were stories filled with men and women on the brink of collapse and the lengths they would go to be together and pleasure each other.

It should have been uncomfortable, listening to such erotica from a woman I’d always considered my role model, but it wasn’t. It was definitely outside my experience, but not unpleasant. I gratefully suspect the sake had a lot to do with my tranquil attitude.

When I’d finally relaxed enough, Lisa asked me to spill. I suppose that was her way of asking me what was wrong, and to tell her about it. So… I spilled. All of it. In the end, I cried - something I hadn’t done since the day I was notified of her death.

Surprisingly, in the absence of shame, I told her that, too. That’s when she kissed me. I should have been startled, maybe even angry. I think she was expecting something along those lines as well, because though the kiss was warm, and a bit hungry, it was also brief. She sat back on her heels, shoulders pulled back and ridged as if bracing herself for a slap.

From my pile of pillows, I reached out and took her braid, unwinding it as I leaned closer. She never flinched at my touch, but her shoulders noticeably relaxed as she followed my action by loosening the other braid. I ran my hands through her now wavy tresses and leaned in to brush my lips gently over hers. I had no idea what to say or do, but I hoped she did.

Moving a little to the left, I reclined against the pillows we had strewn over the floor of my room. I lifted my right hand and silently held it out to her, hoping that I hadn’t misunderstood her kiss, and that she still knew me well enough that I didn’t have to verbalize my agreement. Because though I knew I wanted... something from her, I had no idea how to verbalize my want and confusion to Lisa.

She looked me straight in the eye, a smile lighting her face with mischief, and took my hand without a word. On her knees, she leaned over me, and even through the layers of my shihakushou, I could feel her overwhelming heat. I knew now, from our brief hug upon her arrival, that she wasn’t chilled, as I had always imagined most hollows to be. Instead, she was like a furnace looming over me, as if her body was endlessly fighting off some virus. Which, I suppose, in a sense it was, with the constant internal battle with her hollow.

The shudder that ran through my body at the thought of a hollow kissing down my neck quickly dissipated as Lisa looked up and smiled tenderly before kissing my mouth again. Her explorations were slow and soothing, and I’d never been kissed with such care before. In truth, I didn’t have a lot of experience kissing at all.

Until now, sex had always been a simple release of tension. When my hand and my mind were no longer enough, I sought out a suitable partner for a night of fast, sweaty intercourse, never anything more. My station as a lieutenant precluded relationships with anyone not of my near equivalent rank. That was approximately thirty people, most of whom held no interest for me at all, and the rest were either taken or interested elsewhere. Therefore, I simply made do.

Lisa’s kisses were drugging and erotic. It was as if she refused to leave any bit of my mouth unexplored. She kissed, nipped, and bit my lips and delved deeper to probe with her tongue while coaxing mine to reciprocate. So intent was I on the kissing, I failed to realize she had removed my lieutenant’s badge and my black kimono. With soft touches, Lisa slid her hands inside my white gi and over my shoulders. She broke off the exploration of my neck to lean back and watch as she pushed the gi down my arms to reveal my less than ample bosom. I could feel the heat sprinkle across my cheeks and nose, as I had the urge to cover myself.

Lisa must have anticipated my response because she held my arms, though with no real force, telling me her wishes without denying my own.

“Beautiful,” was all she said as heat crawled up my body. Her small smile made her face lovely and helped banish my discomfort.

A shudder racked my body as Lisa descended again, covering my nipple with the sizzling heat of her lips. In my rapture, I barely noticed the gi slip the rest of the way off my fingers.

Arms free of constraints, I couldn’t stop myself from gliding my hands under the bottom edge of that silly uniform top of hers. I felt Lisa’s breath catch against my skin, and it spurred me to touch her further. I came to a weird contraption covering her breasts and after fumbling a few moments with it, Lisa pulled away from me and laughed.

She quickly flipped her top off over her head, added a couple of quick movements, and the thing she called a bra quickly followed. I could tell she wasn’t much bigger in the chest than me and she certainly wasn’t the least bit shy. I looked my fill and bent to taste her. Her already taut nipple pebbled further in my mouth and whereas being touched there had embarrassed me, nibbling on Lisa’s breasts made my stomach flutter and my hips buck into her thigh. She sighed and smiled down at me again.

“You always were a fast learner.”

I felt my cheeks heat once more as I replied, “You were the best teacher I ever had.”

“Then let me teach you something you’re really gonna love,” Lisa said with a wicked grin.

Given my knowledge of her hollow half, her predatory gaze should have been terrifying, but to me she had barely changed in the hundred years she’d been gone.

When she bent over my lap to untie my obi and pull my kimono and gi free, I could smell the mango cleanser she’d become fond of while living in the human world. I’d never thought of fruit as erotic before, but I knew I’d never smell mangos again without thinking of sex and Lisa.

Sliding the hakama down my hips, she reached around, untied my undergarment, and let the sides fall open. She lifted my hips to slide it off, but instead I sat forward and glided my fingers up her thighs beneath her skirt. Her undergarment was similar to mine, but without ties. Unlike my plain functional underwear, Lisa’s were made of a stretchy material. As I hooked my thumbs in the top of the elastic at her lower back, I could feel the lace, and her already naked backside.

When I shifted to my knees, my open hakama fell to the floor. Lisa leaned forward and breathed, “Yes,” into my ear, while her left hand snaked around my backside and her right lightly pinched my nipple. The combination of all those feelings made my fingers curl as they slid down Lisa’s rear to her thighs. In my excitement, my fingers skimmed between her legs brushing her soft folds from behind.

A brief moan in my ear, and suddenly I was falling backwards into the pillows. My hakama disappeared faster than I could blink, and so had the rest of Lisa’s clothing. I couldn’t help myself. I had to stare. She was beautiful. Not only was she a good soul, an honest person, and a fierce warrior - all things that alone would turn me on - but she was lovely to look at.

Lisa’s face was flushed, but confident. Her breasts were high and tight with dark peach nipples jutting out begging me to take them in my mouth again. She was trim, but not thin. She had a real woman’s hips despite the idiotic schoolgirl uniform she insisted on wearing every day. I startled briefly at her bare pubic area. I was captivated.

Before I’d even realized what I was doing, I’d reached up to touch her with my right hand. Lisa leaned into my caress and let out a quiet sigh as her head tipped back. I wanted to ask why, but my brain seemed to have shut off. She was so smooth and I couldn’t stop myself from sliding my index finger between her folds. If I’d thought her skin through our clothes was hot, I found it was nothing compared to the intense heat as my finger dampened between her legs.

With a groan from the back of her throat, Lisa pressed forward farther onto my finger and clamped down with her thighs. I felt my finger slide over her clitoris and she moaned my name. I don’t think I’d ever felt or heard anything more erotic in my life.

I leaned into her further, kissing her mouth and cupping her bare mound. As I lightly stroked over her clitoris, my body flushed and I felt powerful. Completeness I’d never known before stole over me, and I brushed my nipple over hers. I hummed deep in my chest as I slid my finger back farther and entered Lisa’s wet passage. I heard her choked whine a second before I was splayed out flat on my back looking up into her charcoal and gray-flecked eyes.

“Oh you do learn fast, my sweet Nanao,” Lisa said in a low, husky voice.

“Why… why’d you stop me?” I croaked trying to get my breath back.

“For you, I’d do anything, Nanao. Even submit. But there is no way I can go any longer without tasting you.”

My quiet wheezing stopped dead in my lungs, and I felt as if I would pass out. Not from lack of oxygen, but from the voracious look and the need shining in Lisa’s eyes. I’d never had oral sex before. I’d never been close enough to anyone to request such an intimate joining. Truthfully, I’d never trusted any of my previous bed partners with an act I’d always considered much more intimate than intercourse.

My eyes rolled back into my head as I whimpered out a quiet, “Please.”

Leaning back farther into the pillows, Lisa lifted my left foot into her hand. Nibbling and licking her way around my ankle caused a warm tremor to surge through me, and a small, “More,” to fall unbidden from my lips. Lisa nipped and nuzzled up my calf and stopped long enough at the back of my knee to squeeze another quiet moan from me.

A wave of shivers moved through me as Lisa licked a wet line up my inner thigh. She kissed me, just short of where my body was singing for her to claim. Propping my left leg up and out from my hip made me feel exposed, yet completely cared for.

“Nanao,” she whispered in the near silence of the room.

I looked down my flushed and aching body to see her hungry gaze staring intently at me.

Lisa took my breath away. I’d felt her power for days now, so much more wild and feral than mine, but looking at her now, all I could feel was passion and a tightly leashed want, waiting to spring forth and devour me.

In a husky tone dripping with need, Lisa asked me, “Be sure.”

I wanted desperately to answer, to tell her how very sure I was, but my yearning and her desire had stolen any possibility of speech. A moan escaped instead, followed closely by a whine as my head collapsed back into the pillows, eyes closing of their own accord.

Her smug chuckle filtered into my trembling body. “I’ll take that as a yes,” Lisa murmured.

Raising my right leg, she proceeded to give it as much attention as she had my left. She kissed and scraped her teeth across my already over sensitized skin. Goose bumps broke out on my flesh and tingling strikes of electricity races up the backs of my legs, pouring more intensity into my already throbbing core.

By the time she finally reached the juncture of my legs where I so desperately wanted her to be, I was a trembling, aching mess of glorious feelings. My skin felt too tight for my body and I needed to tear my way free.

The intense heat from Lisa’s tongue had my fingers clawing at the pillows beneath me. I felt her lips dance over my clitoris as streaks of pleasure radiated through my body. My legs began to quiver as the erotic feelings intensified.

Lisa stopped briefly to push my knees back towards my chest and I used the short respite to catch my breath and try to calm my jittery nerves. When I realized Lisa had stopped moving I opened my eyes to see her staring at my lewd display. I blushed profusely, but basked in the obvious need displayed on her face.

She looked up into my eyes and said, “I never believed I’d see you again. Even on my most optimistic days, when I thought to see you again, I knew we’d be enemies. I never could have dreamed to have to you like this or it would have broken me.”

I couldn’t respond. I had no idea what to say. I think I must have tried to say something because she swooped down and ravished my lips with another brain-stealing kiss.

It took me a moment to figure out why she tasted different, and at the thought of where the difference came from, my ears burned. I’d never tasted myself before. Even if it had occurred to me, I would have been too mortified to try it. Somehow, though, with Lisa everything seemed right.

She continued kissing me as she moved down my body, nibbling on my sensitive skin and hyper-aware nipples as she went. The light bite to my hipbone had me shuddering in delight. Her left hand glided up my body as her tongue moved down it, making my breasts achy with want. When she pinched and tugged my nipple lightly, my hips lifted up into her face causing her to laugh quietly.

“I do so love your reactions, Nanao.”

All I could manage in response was a quiet hum and muffled mm-hm.

The anticipation of where she was going again made it all the sweeter. She kissed my inner thigh briefly in a teasing gesture before she returned to laving my clitoris with her tongue. Any chance I might have had at speaking coherently quickly died in that moment.

The return of fire shooting through my body after the brief respite heightened its intensity. When she slipped two fingers inside me, I wanted to weep with bliss. Each stroke with her tongue and fingers mirrored the tweaking on my nipple and managed to twist more sensation throughout my nerves, making my stomach dance.

When her thumb joined her fingers inside me and her knuckles rested firmly between my cheeks, I knew it was only seconds before the waves would break and I would crash. Lisa tugged my clitoris into her mouth with a deep pull of her lips while continuing to stroke my insides. The moment she spread her fingers and thumb inside me and twisted my nipple gently, I cried out as my orgasm tore through me.

I continued to pant and moan, over and over, unable to do anything else but bask in the ecstasy washing over me, bursting in wave after wave of powerful feelings I was at a loss to understand or describe.

Her fingers never stopped moving, even as the heat began to abate. Lisa sucked deeply on my clitoris, once more ratcheting up the heavenly sensations in my body, causing another orgasm to race through me. Still she never stopped moving inside me. Lisa uncurled her pinky and brushed it between my cheeks over my back entrance as she grazed my clitoris with her teeth causing me to shout, “Enough! Enough!” even as another orgasm tormented my over-stimulated nerves.

My sensitized skin should have been aware of every movement and touch, but I barely even registered that Lisa had put my legs back flat on the pillows and curled up protectively at my side.

Kissing my neck, Lisa’s words started registering on my overloaded brain. “You are so beautiful Nanao. You blushed and responded so wantonly I nearly came with you.”

Lisa crawled on top of me and took my hand in hers, pressing it firmly against her bare mound. “I know you’re tired my sweet, but it will just take a moment. Touch me, so I can come for you.”

She leaned up and pillaged my mouth, as I lay sated and happy. “Touch me, Nanao.”

In truth, I was annoyed that I was so exhausted. It was unfair not being able to give her the same pleasure she’d given me. Instead of dwelling on the issue, I pushed the guilt aside and simply did as she asked. I touched her as she kneeled over me on hands and knees.

Lisa’s overwhelming heat seeped into my palm as I slipped two fingers inside and slid my index finger farther back to press against the ring of muscle there. I knew I had rightly assumed she wasn’t adverse to the extra stimulation, when she shifted and pressed back harder into my index finger. In reality, I did very little work for her as she moved and bucked against my fingers while I lay in a blissed-out stupor.

I did manage to raise my left hand up to her breasts and alternately pinched and tugged each nipple in turn. With just enough presence of mind to dampen my thumb inside her, I rubbed it across her clitoris a few times before pressing into it firmly.

All I could hear were a few panting breaths and an occasional, “Mm-hm, mah, more, yes, uhn….”

When she breathed my name, I leaned up enough to whisper in her ear, “Please Lisa, come for me.”

She shuddered at my words, her wet passage fluttering and clamping down on my fingers as her orgasm rolled through her. She was very vocal, but incoherent with her strung together muddled “Uh, ah, uh, ah,” before she completely collapsed on top of me.

I lay there completely sated, wondering what I’d done to deserve such attention, hoping she didn’t feel completely slighted by my inability to reciprocate the way I should have.

Just as the little worm of guilt started wending its way through me, Lisa lifted her head to stare down into my eyes. “Don’t. Don’t do it Nanao. I can already feel you tensing. I don’t know why, nor do I care. I loved every second of what we did and so did you. So. No guilt. No recriminations. No embarrassment.”

I gave a quiet inhale and replied, “Fine. You’re right. I did. I’m just sorry I couldn’t give you what you gave me. It was… incredible.”

“Pfft. I’m not going anywhere and neither are you. We got time. Trust me. This is not over.”

I did laugh at that. Lisa never really was one for mincing words. It was, still, one of the things I loved most about her. And I did love her. I always had. Just never quite this way before.

Lisa rolled off me and cuddled into my side, right leg thrown over both of mine. It was a very possessive gesture and I relaxed even further. Making what she said next unexpected, and a bit unwelcome.

“You know I’ll never be allowed back here when the war is over.”

“And you know that Kyouraku-taichou and Ukitake-taichou will do everything in their power to make it change.” I could already feel the fear rising inside me at Lisa and the other Vaizard being banished again, despite their help and necessity to winning this war.

She leaned up on her elbow and her eyes softened as she looked down at me. I lifted my arm and ran my fingers through her still curly, but now damp hair.

“Let’s just live today, Nanao. One thing I’ve learned in a hundred years - nothing is certain.”

Before I could respond, she bent over and kissed me senseless again. It was becoming a very bad, yet welcome, habit to shut me up.

When I was finally able to come up for breath, I spoke. “It won’t matter what they say, I’m not letting you go… again.” My voice got small and subdued. “Even if I have to go with you.”

“My, my, little Nanao all grown up, and breaking the rules. What will Taichou think?” Her humor sounded genuine, until I looked into her eyes. Lisa had the most expressive charcoal and gray-flecked eyes I’d even seen, and they were currently tight around the edges with worry.

I laid my head in the bend of her elbow, and nuzzled my face into her heated skin. “Kyouraku-taichou will do what he’s always, done – whatever he damn well pleases. Though in this case, he’ll probably tell me, ‘It’s about time my sweet Nanao-chan.’”

Looking up, I loved seeing the confused look on Lisa’s face. I would place odds it was the first time anyone had witnessed such an unusual expression on such a confident warrior.

“Time for what?”

I pushed Lisa over on her back and straddled her waist. I bent low and whispered in her ear, “It’s about time for me to take my turn, Lisa-sensei.”