I've always written like high school fics and whatnot so I wanted to try to write a story set in the ninja world. Set in an AU though. I was a little sad after If I Knew was taken down and wanted to stop writing Naruto fics but I decided to suck it up and try another crack at it. Despite some of the dislike Xin receives for being my main OC, she's going to remain my main. Sorry, she's just been with me too long for me to scrap her. I'll try to tweak her personality though. Hopefully this is a little better than If I Knew. Hope you guys enjoy. Review. I don't own a thing except Xin.
"Why the hell did I let them talk me into this? This is complete and utter bullshit. What's the matter with my parents? How could they even entertain the idea of marrying–oh holy shit, they're going to agree to this bullshit, aren't they?"
Xin quietly sat, shooting evil looks at the several individuals occupying the room. She fidgeted erratically, her fingers twitching. She was ready to burst as two of Konoha's council members discussed the agreements with two of Suna's council members.
She frowned, her eyes casting a blank look as she counted each wrinkle adorning all four council member's face. "Lord have mercy, who has that many wrinkles? The years has not been kind to these four fucked up fossils..."
"Are you listening?"
"How pissed would you be if I said no, I'm not listening?"
Her smile turned sheepish as each adult shot a disapproving glare. She dropped the smile moments later and stiffly sat up. "It's not like I have much of a say, right? For one reason or another our lovely representing council members–" She paused to shoot a sarcastically sweet smile at the two. "Believe that I would be a perfect match for your cra—er...crazily talented Kazekage..."
Tsunade shot her a look that clearly said 'nice save.'
'Nice save my ass...'
I had a week to prepare before I was being deported to Suna for my impending marriage. Just a week to get ready. How the hell was I supposed to prepare for something like that? Like moving your entire life from one village to another to marry a psychotic stranger was completely normal. Okay, he wasn't psychotic. He's reformed. Or so I'm told. I mean, of course the council members wouldn't just flat out tell me that their Kazekage is still a raging homicidal manic. Not that I had room to talk. I still couldn't get the bloodstains out of some of my ANBU uniforms.
Did Suna have ANBU squads? I sure as hell hoped so because if they demoted me back to being a regular Jonin, I was going to flip my shit. I worked hard to get where I was and I would be damned if I was demoted because of some stupid marriage.
For the most part I spent the week hanging around the people I grew up with, whether it was sparring or hanging out at Ichiraku's. For old time's sake, they kept saying. What the hell did that mean anyway? It wasn't like I was dying or anything. I didn't speak to my family members except for my sisters and cousin. Why the hell would I speak to any of them? They had betrayed me, readily agreeing to forking me over to a once enemy village. I had nothing to say to my parents, my grandparents or the Elders of the Hyuga clan.
My send off wasn't anything spectacular but all of my friends were there to see me off. Tsunade also came along to wish me luck. I tried not to be too bitter during the whole thing, tried to smile and not throw a tantrum as I was passed around to exchange hugs and advice.
It just wasn't fair. How could they all just smile and hug me? There was nothing to be smile about. This was not an occasion for hugs. But what did I expect? It wasn't like any of them were being forced to sacrifice their freedom and happiness. They all got to live their happy little blissful lives while I was being sent away to a God forsaken desert in the middle of nowhere to marry a former psycho.
Jeez, I should really stop giving him grief about his past. It wasn't like my past was any better than his. Okay, I didn't randomly smother people in blood smelling sand just for looking at me wrong like he did but I did kill without mercy. Hell, I even enjoyed it. I knew that I was the psycho of Konoha. It was probably why I was the top contender to marry the Kazekage. Out of all the girls in my age group, I had never seen any of them take life like I had. They usually killed their victims off quickly and only if they were forced to.
I offered one last smile to my friends, wondering when I would see them again, and left the place I had known all of my life to start an entirely new life.
Despite our shaky alliance for the last five years or so, I never had a mission where I had to travel to or through Suna. It was completely different from Konoha. Konoha was all sorts of greens, surrounded by large and luscious trees with stone roadways and modernized houses. Suna was sand. Like, it was literally sand. I wasn't kidding when I said the damn village was in the damn desert. There obviously wasn't trees because what trees do you know that could survive in the desert? Cactus? The damn buildings were even made of sand.
I approached the ninja stationed in front of the large gates that blocked me off from the village that I was going to call my home. Sweat soaked my skin, drenching my hair and causing my clothes to stick to my skin in the most uncomfortable way possible. I was extremely cranky due to the excessive heat and sand blowing into my face from the strong winds. I had to travel three days and two nights to get here and I was not a happy camper. Honestly, the only thing I wanted at this point was a bath and a bed.
"I have business with the Kazekage," I stated simply, coming to a stop in front of the guard. He eyed me warily, trying to figure out what the hell a regular Konoha kunoichi would want with the leader of his village. I bit down the urge to sneer at him. His stance was rather weak, his grip on his weapon rather loose. I could have easily slapped the weapon from his hand and then break his arm before he could sound an alarm. I paused in the middle of my thoughts and frowned. I really needed to control my anger and low tolerance.
The gates suddenly creaked open before I could say anymore and a tall blonde woman stepped out from behind the protection of the gates. She was much taller than me, but then again, it wasn't that hard to be taller than me with my meager height. Anyway, she was tall, tan and blonde. "You're Xin, aren't you?" She asked in a particularly deep voice. I fought down the urge to reply with a sarcastic answer. Who the hell else would I be? I was more crankier than I had initially thought. Instead of snapping at her, I forced a cringe-worthy smile.
She offered a smile that could have matched mine. "Welcome to Suna. I'm Temari."
Temari frowned softly as the small woman ambled next to her. She hadn't really been sure of what she was expecting of Xin but it certainly wasn't...this. She was just so small. She looked so out of place and just so...small. But a strange aura hung over her. It washed over Temari and nearly choked her. The aura reminded her of blood. It mixed into the girl's natural scent, bathing her in a sickeningly sweet smell that twisted and pulled at Temari's stomach.
"Are we meeting with the Kazekage?" Xin finally broke the awkward silence between the two of them. She hadn't really cared that the two hadn't said one word since Temari had greeted her and allowed her entrance into the village. She had spent the time looking around and trying to familiarize herself with her new home. But the silence did eventually get to her.
"Not at the moment. He's currently in a meeting with some of our council members, tying up some loose ends with the new...arrangements," Temari replied, trying to avoid outright saying what was actually being discussed. "I'm taking you home where I'll...debrief you on some things."
Home? Debrief? What was there to debrief her about? She was marrying the Kazekage so that there would never be any turmoil between Konoha and Suna. Well, hopefully there would never be any bad blood now that she was marrying him. And if there was...she knew what would have to be done. Her forehead ached at the thought. She said no more, opting to quietly follow after the tall blonde. She didn't really have a lot of questions, which surprised her. Usually Xin could ask about ten questions in the span of two minutes. But she only had maybe one or two questions.
A large house suddenly came into her vision, made of sand, of course. It was so different compared to her home in Konoha. For one, she lived in the middle of the Hyuga compound. That was practically a mini-village and of course she lived in the biggest house in the compound.
Temari opened the front door, leading her in as if she owned the place. Xin quirked an eyebrow but said nothing as she slipped off her black sandals and neatly set them to the side, looking around. She couldn't make much of the house seeing as how she was only at the front door. Temari veered left, leading Xin into the living room. The little woman all but crumpled into the tan couch (of course it's tan. Tan like the damn sand), the exhaustion showing plainly on her face. Temari settled in the armchair to the left of the couch, silently watching Xin.
"First, let me just say I realize that this a big sacrifice you made in the name of peace. On my behalf of my village I want to thank you. I know you didn't want to agree to marry him," Temari began to say, watching as Xin sat up a little.
The pale woman shrugged blandly. "Gotta do what ya gotta do," Xin offered simply, staring at her blankly. The blank stare slightly unnerved Temari. Her eyes held no trace of emotion or even humanity. They were just blanked out.
"Right," Temari nodded slowly, slightly uncomfortable. "Well, as I said, my name is Temari. I'm the older sister of the Kazekage and I have another younger brother as well," Temari properly introduced herself.
Xin simply nodded. "I'm Hyuga Xin."
That was it? That was all she was going to say? Xin must have noticed the look in Temari's face because she quirked an eyebrow. What, did she expect a formal introduction? Well, what was there to say other than her name? She didn't need to know she had two sisters or anything useless like that. They'd probably never meet anyway.
"Well," Temari sat up a little straighter. "There are some things I'm sure you weren't informed of when it came to the agreement about the marriage," the blonde bit her bottom lip, searching Xin's face for any sign of anger for withheld information.
"What else is there? We're marrying to keep the peace between Konoha and Suna, right?"
"Yes..." Temari trailed off. "And no."
"And no? What the hell do you mean 'and no'?"
Temari rubbed her hands together, trying to figure out how exactly she was going to tell Xin the withheld information. "My brother has been the leader of the village for some time but the council felt as if the people didn't trust him completely due to the circumstances involving his past."
"You mean brutally murdering people, right?"
Temari actually glared at Xin for her blunt words. Xin simply scoffed but said nothing more. "The council claimed they didn't feel as if the people felt that Gaara was humane and reformed..." She trailed off, dark green eyes clashing with light lavender eyes. "So they had this idea of him marrying a woman so that the people would fully trust him. They figured him marrying a girl from Suna wouldn't seem...authentic enough. So that's when they brought up the idea of him marrying a girl from a different village..."
Xin's face scrunched together in thought. Temari remained silent, letting the words seep in. "So," She suddenly said. "Your people are unaware of the peace treaty."
"And they want an authentic marriage."
The room was silent once more as Xin mulled over the words. She rolled her lips together and played with the end of her ponytail that sat over her shoulder. Temari shifted, waiting for her to speak again. Seconds ticked by before her eyes met with Temari's eyes. "You're telling me this whole fuckin' marriage is a publicity stunt!?"
Temari was almost positive that Xin was seconds away from killing something. She wasn't entirely sure because she didn't know the girl too much. But she knew a look like the one Xin was wearing well enough to know that she wanted to kill something. Trailing behind her, Temari could clearly hear the little kunoichi mumbling to herself. Maybe Konoha should have reconsidered the choice they made when they picked Xin. She hadn't even spent an entire day with her and Temari knew that there might have been a couple of screws loose in Xin's head.
"This is the Kage's tower," Temari suddenly broke through Xin's conversation with herself. "It's in the middle of the village. If you ever get lost, just come here," Temari directed her, leading her into the building. Xin would have to remember that. It was smack-dab in the middle of the village and plus it had a big-ass symbol on the front of the building. No way in Hell would she miss that if she was lost.
Neither female said anything to one another as they climbed the winding staircase that seemed to lead on forever. They approached the only doors on the top floor, Temari knocking twice before she walked into the room before she had permission. If Xin hadn't known she was related to the Kage, she would have thought Temari was rude.
The office was much more neater than Tsunade's office. There weren't a billion of papers everywhere paired with half-empty sake bottles spread about. There also wasn't a responsible assistant present wielding a small and chubby pig. Xin's heart sank at the thought.
Instead, there was two men present. One was laying about on the couch to the side of the room rather sloppily. All Xin could make out was his dark eyes and dark purple face paint. He was dressed in a black one piece with some random symbol on the chest that Xin didn't care enough to even think about. The oddest thing was the cat like ears that was apart of his black hood.
Sitting behind the neat desk with the neat stack of papers and cactus plant (of course it was a damn cactus plant) was who she assumed was her future husband. He had a shock of vibrant red hair. Red hair that reminded her so much of blood. His eyes were pale cyan with thick black eye rings and there was a dark red tattoo of the word love on the left side of his forehead.
Well. Xin raised her eyebrows. At least he was attractive.
"Um," She blinked stupidly. "Hi," She greeted, not knowing what else to say. The one sprawled across the couch sat up, a look of amusement dancing in his dark eyes. Xin looked towards him and dubbed him as the friendlier one of the two currently staring at her. "I'm Xin," She offered simply, eyes flickering back and forth between the two.
"Kankuro," the friendly one pushed himself up and flounced over to Xin. He held his large hand out for her to shake. She looked down at it, looked back at him, looked back down at his outstretched hand and finally took it. "It's nice to finally meet you, Xin. The three of us have been looking forward to this ever since we were told you actually agreed."
"Nice to meet you too. Now, do you mean since I actually agreed to being married for peace or for publicity?"
The room was filled with an awkward silence as Kankuro peeked over Xin's head to look at Temari. Before he could say anything, their younger brother finally spoke up. "You told her about that?" he asked, finally looking up from whatever document had had his attention. Xin blinked in question and then frowned. Were they not going to tell her the truth?
"I couldn't just let her think that's the only reason she's getting married."
"You didn't plan to tell me at all?"
"How did she take it?"
"Um, excuse me, I'm right here. I can answer."
"Wow, Xin. You've got a helluva grip. Think you can let go now?"
"You can ask her yourself, Gaara. She's right here."
"Obviously, I just said that."
"Your grip is getting tighter."
"By the tone of your voice, you weren't pleased."
"Is it that obvious?"
"Holy shit, I think I just heard my hand crack."
Xin blinked in surprise and realized she had yet to let go of Kankuro's hand. She blushed slightly and quickly withdrew her hand, smiling sheepishly as Kankuro rubbed his crumpled hand. "I'm sorry. Sometimes I don't know my own strength," She sheepishly stated. She suddenly turned to look at Gaara and stormed right up to his desk, leaning over it and planting her hands on the desktop. "I agreed to marry you for peace. Not to make you look better. That was not part of the deal. I have every right to back out of this marriage right now."
Gaara slowly looked up at her, eyes lazily roving over her. "The minute you back out is the minute you start a war," He stated simply, watching as her eyes narrowed dangerously. "Is that something you can live with?"
"Are you threatening and taunting me?" Xin hissed down at him, leaning slightly closer. "Listen to me, I have no problem reaching over this desk and ripping your fuckin' eyeballs out," She snapped lowly, her fingers twitching. When was the last time she had physically hurt someone? When was her last mission? When was the last time the thick smell of blood wafted around her, intoxicating her?
Gaara leaned forward, as if he was silently daring Xin to follow through with her threat.
"That's enough," Temari suddenly intervened, pulling Xin back away from her youngest brother. "You have every right to be angry with us, Xin. But threatening Gaara isn't going to solve anything. Everything has been agreed to. Are you really going to risk breaking the treaty just because we didn't tell you one piece of information?"
Xin huffed angrily and snatched herself away from Temari, folding her arms across her chest. "Listen, you don't have to like each other, you barely have to speak to one another. But you're going to have to at least coöperate, alright?" Temari watched in bemusement as Xin stuck her tongue out at Gaara while he simply rolled his eyes at her childish behavior.
What the hell had they done?
"Understand that this will not be a marriage of love."
Xin stared blankly across the desktop at the Kazekage. Or, her fiancé. Temari and Kankuro had left them seconds ago. Temari basically ordered them to at least get some ground with each other and talk. Get to know one another. Xin rolled her eyes. God, she hated everything. "Yup," Xin popped her lips. "Because we all know love has absolutely nothing to do with marriage," She sarcastically stated, arms folded across her chest. In turn, Gaara shot her a deathly look. She was starting to wonder if it was wise of Temari and Kankuro to leave them alone unsupervised.
They both stared at one another. Her stare was defiant while his stare held nothing but annoyance. "This marriage is a form of business and I will not love you." He continued to speak despite the clear annoyance he had for her. She only snorted and shook her head at his words.
"You sure know how to woo a girl, don't ya?"
He slowly exhaled, fed up with her attitude. Temari's words rang in his head before she had left him with this monster. 'Try to be understanding. She's out of her comfort zone. She's angry that we basically lied to her. She's not happy about any of this.' He had to remember. He had to remember not to snap her bones in half.
"Have you ever thought of using a different color scheme other than sand?"
She was leaning her cheek against her fist, her elbow resting on the arm of the couch she was now slouched over. Her eyes were roving the length of his office, at the walls, the floor, and the carpet before finally landing on him. "The color scheme," She waved her other hand about, motioning to the room as a whole. "Everything is sandy colors. Sandy brown, sandy blonde. Tan. It's sand. Isn't that a bit–I dunno, boring? Looks like someone's Grandfather decorated this place. Either that or you really like the look."
Gaara stared at her for several seconds, at a loss. "That's what you're concerned about? The color scheme of my office?" He asked blandly. Was the woman stupid? Was he about to marry an idiot? Was it really too late to back out of this marriage? God, he was going to end up with an idiot for the rest of his life.
"Well fine," Xin huffed, her attitude coming back. "I was just trying to make conversation, ya prick. You don't have to be such a jerk about it all. The way I see it, I should be the only one in this room with a damn attitude."
"You are the only one in this room with an attitude."
"Are you telling me now that you don't have an attitude?" She rolled her eyes. "You're just a jerk on the regular basis? Because let me tell you, it's not attractive. I mean, if I wanted to marry a prick with a stick shoved so far up his ass, I would've just went with Uchiha Sasuke. Least I could've stayed in my village."
Gaara would have slammed his head against the desk.
Xin could only roll her eyes.
What had they done?
"So, when exactly will the marriage be announced?" Xin asked the same night as she sat in the living room along with Kankuro and Temari. The two elder sand siblings had returned to the Kage's office to see Xin pinned to the ceiling by Gaara's sand, shouting vulgar obscenities at him while he simply ignored her. It was amazing how she could switch her personality from a raging banshee to a relaxed woman. It also unsettled the two. Her ability to easily switch her emotions was just a tad bit disturbing.
"Next week," Temari sat up in her seat. "After we announce it, we will begin to plan the wedding."
"We're actually going to have a wedding?"
"It has to seem authentic, so yes."
Xin shot the blonde a sour look but said nothing more. "You guys know you'll have to act like you actually like each other, right?" Kankuro pointed out, a grin threatening to take over his lips. Xin twisted up her own lips in disgust. "You know, like an actual couple. We have to have the public believe that you two want to get married. That you're in love."
"Tell that to your brother," Xin mumbled absently. She stood up with an exasperated sigh. "I'm exhausted. I'm going to take a shower and then take it down for the night. I'll...see you guys," She awkwardly stated before hurrying up the stairs.
The hot water drilled down on her body, relaxing her tense muscles. She leaned her forehead against the tiled wall and let out a long sigh. She had been tricked, basically. This was not really a marriage for alliance. She knew that was bullshit when she heard it. Out of the five great shinobi nations, Suna and Konoha got along well. The villages weren't the best of friends but their relationship were better than their relations with Kiri, Kumo, and Iwa. The Sand and the Leaf were least likely to have bad blood compared to the other three.
This was a marriage that would make Gaara look better. He would just seem so humane and good if the public knew he was actually married and in love. She had been reduced to a trophy wife. She was there to make him look good. Xin's fists tightened and she resisted the urge to punch the wall. Instead she reached down and turned the shower off. She wrapped herself in a towel, and with complete disregard to anyone seeing her, stepped out of the bathroom and proceeded to her room.
She picked through her bags, trying to find something to sleep in. She pulled out a soft yellow sleeping kimono, noting the Hyuga insignia stitched on the left side. The young woman scowled harshly and threw the kimono down, shaking her head. Xin grumbled to herself and dressed in a pair of shorts and a tank top. Her eyes scanned the room, frowning softly. Was this an extra room or did it belong to Gaara? It seemed so lifeless, like no one spent time in it. But they wouldn't keep an extra room furnished when it was just the three of them living there? Why did they have such a large home?
"It's too bland in here," Xin grumbled in annoyance. "Well, if I'm going live in here I'm sure they won't mind if I redecorate. I can probably convince Temari to go shopping tomorrow or something. It's not like I'll be given any missions anytime soon," Xin continued to talk herself. She yanked the covers back and slid in, cringing at the icy feeling of the sheets. "When's the last time anyone even sat on this bed?"
Xin padded down the stairs the next morning, nearly running into the wall at the bottom of the stairs. She found her way to the kitchen, nearly getting lost twice. Again, why the hell did these people live in such a big ass house if there was only three of them? "Good afternoon," Kankuro greeted her first when she stepped into the kitchen. Temari peeked over her shoulder from whatever she was doing to also greet the younger woman. Xin leaned against the door frame, rubbing her face.
Temari blinked at her, slightly confused. "I...can make you some fresh coffee," She said slowly, setting off to her new task. "Do you always wake up this late in the day?" She asked as Xin pushed off of the frame and sat at the kitchen table.
She yawned and rubbed at her face for the second time. "No, back home I had to wake up at four in the morning for early morning training with my sisters and cousin," She spoke through her yawn. "Then I'd leave for whatever mission Lady Tsunade had for me."
"You have sisters?" Kankuro asked from across the table. They knew next to nothing about the drowsy girl sitting at their table. She hadn't offered to say anything about herself yesterday besides her name.
"Mm, two. I have a younger sister, she's twelve now. And my twin sister, older than me by an hour," Xin continued to talk through her sleep. She twitched as the smell of coffee began to waft around the kitchen.
"An older sister?" Temari mumbled to herself in question. Why hadn't they offered the older sister instead of Xin? It was obvious why the youngest wasn't offered, she was just twelve. Why hadn't they been informed that there was more than one sister in the first place?
"How do you like your coffee? Cream? Sugar?"
They both gave her strange looks. Black coffee tasted horrible and Xin didn't even seem to be the type to like black coffee. She seemed bubbly when she wasn't snapping with a bad attitude. "Do you have anything planned for today, Temari? Any missions or anything like that?" Xin asked once she downed half of her cup of coffee. She looked at them, tilting her head to the side once she caught sight of the strange looks they were giving her. "What?"
"Ah, it's nothing. I don't have anything today. Is there something you need?"
She gulped down more of her coffee and sighed, seeming more alert. "I don't know if that room I'm occupying is just a spare room or if it was actually someone's room, but I can't stand it. It's boring and lifeless. I was thinking we could go shopping."
Temari and Kankuro shared surprised glances. Judging by her outburst yesterday, they were sure she was going to lock herself in her room and refuse to talk to anyone for the next couple of days. Not willingly invite one of them to spend some time with her. "Um, sure. That's fine."
Xin only let a smile stretch across her face, opting to ignore the strange looks.