A/N: Just a quick warning, there is mention of rape in this chapter. Gore too.
The next morning I woke up feeling like a tree had fallen on me. I groaned loudly and turned away from the sunlight that was baking my face. I snuggled my face into the pillow but then paused.
I blinked rapidly and then slowly sat up, looking around. Now when and how the fuck did I get back to the house? I'm pretty sure I passed out in the office. Did I even get off the damn desk? Rubbing my hair through my very tangled hair, I hummed thoughtfully. I kicked the blanket off (regretting the fuck out of that) and scooted to the edge of the bed. At some point in my mysterious return, I'd stripped out of my wrinkled clothes and changed into a very large black shirt.
My head was pounding, my body was aching, I was naked under this random shirt and I'm pretty sure I slept in. "Fuck," I cursed softly and managed to heave myself out of bed. I nearly crumbled, legs almost giving out but I managed to stay on shaky feet. I dragged myself out of the room, craving nothing more than a hot shower. Christ and all twelve. I looked a leopard. A leopard with purple spots. I cringed at the sight of my mottled flesh, pulling at the skin on my hips. Fingerprints. I had a trail of bruises that started from my neck and led all the way down to my breasts. When I turned, I could see a similar pattern down my back.
"Fuck," I cursed again and cracked my neck. I climbed into the shower and very tenderly washed up. When I made it back to my room, I discovered I didn't have any clothes that would properly cover my upper torso. With a scowl, I realized no one had done the laundry. I pinched the bridge of my nose and sighed heavily. I dug into the very depths of the closet and finally came across a pair of tights and a simple shirt that seemed a little too big for me. It might've been Gaara's shirt. When I took noticed of my equally mottled wrists, I pulled on a pair of fingerless gloves.
It was well into the afternoon so I didn't bother making breakfast. I shoved a rice ball into my mouth and left the house.
What was I going to get into today?
The minute Xin showed up at the training grounds, Baki stalked off. She only blinked after him before turning and spotting Jura. "Guess I'm on babysitting duty," She mused while approaching the tall brunet. "Working hard or hardly working?" She asked with a great big grin.
Jura snorted, pausing just for a second. "Nice of you to finally join us. Kankuro told me he tried to wake you up but you wouldn't budge," He casually stated. She blushed instantly and prayed that Kankuro hadn't seen the very odd trail of bruises. "We all can't afford to just sleep in like some people."
"Well, when you're as talented as I am, you can afford a few extra hours of sleep. We all can't be talented. You should be grateful I blessed you with my presence."
The two suddenly paused, realizing they had settled too evenly into their old routine of friendship. Xin sighed heavily and Jura rubbed at the back of his neck, ruffling his dark hair. In actual reality, he'd thought long and hard about this whole mess he'd gotten into. Xin started to warm up, stretching her limbs while he continued to seemingly stare off into space. He noted that anytime she pulled a little too hard, she'd wince. He probably shouldn't ask.
"Oi, Xin. I need to ask something."
"If it has anything to do with your brothers then the answer is no."
Jura rolled his eyes, wondering what exactly had stemmed the hatred between Kyohei and Xin. They only met a handful of times but Xin was determined to slaughter his older brother. His stomach twisted at the thought. "If something happens and you come back alive without me, please take care of my family. At least until they can get back on their feet. Susu especially, what with the baby coming and everything…"
Xin paused in the middle of her squat. She gave him a funny look, as if she just now took notice of him. She slowly tilted her head to the side and blinked her big eyes. "Okay, Jura. I'll look after them," She finally agreed, voice barely above a whisper. "Not sure how Hatsune will feel about that but I'll do my best," She smiled, albeit sadly. Jura nodded, satisfied with her answer. He wasn't really sure about the outcome of this mission but he knew someone had to look after his family. He knew his family would be looked after financially whether he lived or died but he needed to know someone would just care for them. And maybe Xin was a little rough around the edges but they knew her and deep down, she had a good heart.
"You're still my friend," Xin suddenly stated firmly, breaking him from his thoughts. "I'unno how you feel about me and I really don't care. I know you might hate me for threatening your family and I don't blame you, I'd hate anyone who'd threaten my family."
"Then why'd you threaten them in the first place?"
"Because you wouldn't give me the information I needed in order to protect my family. Gaara is my family and Masahiro threatened him. Ukyo is my family too and they took her so—"
Xin stopped and glanced at him again. "They didn't tell you that?"
"Ah...well shit," Xin scratched at the back of her head, grinning almost sheepishly. "They tried to drag me back to Masahiro but ended up catching Ukyo instead. Pretty much the reason why I'm going, why Gaara is letting me go…."
Jura pinched the bridge of his nose. What were those idiots thinking, taking Ukyo instead of Xin? They couldn't have mistaken the girl for Xin, they looked nothing alike. "How in the hell did they take her instead of you?"
"Uh, you know, I think they panicked. See, I was fighting one and I cut his hand off and I think when they saw that, they decided to just grab whoever was close enough and booked it out of there."
"Right….and you didn't chase them down and scream insults at them until they begged for a swift death?"
Xin was wrinkled her nose cutely. "I never show anyone who's done me wrong the mercy of a swift death," She pointed out wryly. "I didn't chase them down because Hatsune was hurt. Come to think of it, I dunno why I chose to help her instead of chasing Ukyo down…"
"Hatsune was hurt?"
"That's what I said," Xin nodded. "Broken leg. It was a clean break so I set it and fixed her up, it won't bother her. Well, it shouldn't...maybe I should check on her before leaving…" Xin pulled thoughtfully at a lock of her hair. Jura almost teased her about her seemingly caring nature. It wasn't like Xin to worry for Hatsune. Hideki, maybe, Asuna, definitely, but Xin was not fond of Hatsune. But that was simply due to her relationship with the Kazekage. The two might've gotten along had it not been for Xin's relationship.
"Anyway, I didn't come here to talk. I came to train. It's been awhile since I went out on recovery mission. So, we fight?"
"Promise not to kill me?" Jura grinned. For a moment he watched as Xin switched from two different stances. One with closed fists while the other was open-palmed. He was sure the open-palmed stance belonged to her family's signature taijutsu. Xin spoke of her family's lineage from time to time and Jura had learned enough to know that he preferred her punches. Finally she settled into a relaxed stance, small hands curled into dangerous fists. But all in all, when it came down to it, he preferred not fighting her at all. For reasons he couldn't quite grasp, Xin was the better fighter between the two of them. It's been proven many times.
"Same rules?" Xin prompted, bouncing her weight from foot to foot.
"Let me hear you say them," He countered with a quirked brow. Sometimes their rules had to be repeated for Xin to follow them. She forgot, she claimed.
Xin huffed at his demand but grinned. "No bone breaking and no blood," She recited easily. One would think that with two simple rules, they'd be followed easily. But as stated before, Xin could be a little forgetful. "And absolutely no attempts to kill."
Jura rushed forward without any warning, joining his hands together and bringing it down on her face. She caught his hands in hers and with a pump of chakra, shoved him away. As he stumbled backwards, she dropped into a roll to her back, she lifted her leg and slammed her foot into his stomach. She used a bit of strength to force him down.
Xin instantly jumped on top of him, ready to punch him in the face. Jura caught her punch and easily threw her body over his. Xin hit the ground with a gasp, slightly blinded but the dust of sand in her eyes. Xin recovered just in time to roll out of the way of being stomped in the head. The sand bit through her thin tights, chewing at her knees as her eyes darted around.
Despite popular belief, Xin didn't just rely on punches and kicks. Sometimes that didn't always work, especially if her opponent was much larger than her. Instead of using up all of her Chakra to aide in her strength, Xin was nearly an expert at grappling and submissions. That was usually how she beat Jura in their spars. Xin jumped to her feet as Jura thundered towards her. He threw a punch that she caught with both hands. She swung him around under her legs, lifting one up to press her knee into his neck. She still held onto his arm and if she twisted just a tad bit, it would break.
Somehow Jura managed to break out of her hold. Xin stumbled backwards and to the side, regaining her footing a little too late. Jura's kick caught her side and she went down hard. Oh, she was going to kick his ass. And she did. Hard.
"Do you submit now?" Xin leered down at him, thighs clenched tightly around his head. Jura didn't answer, more so, he couldn't answer and tapped her thigh diligently. Grinning widely, Xin slowly let him go.
"You know," Jura began to say after sucking in a mouthful of air. "You should reeeally rethink that move," He stated as they climbed to their feet. Xin dusted the sand from her body and shook her ponytail.
"Why? It's a pretty good submission lock."
"Because I'm sure a lot of men wouldn't really mind getting their heads locked between your thighs. Ever use that move on your husband? I'm sure he doesn't mind getting a faceful of your crotch but he might mind other men."
Xin snorted and when she couldn't control her snorts, buried her face into her hands. "No, I've never used that on Gaara, I've never even used it in front of him."
"Better keep it that way. Kazekage-sama seems like the overprotective type."
Xin suddenly had a funny look on her face. "Apparently so. He has...a jealous side that I was unaware of until last night," Xin rubbed the back of her head and nearly winced. But then again, she quietly mused, he had good reason. She still had yet to speak with Sasori and she wasn't sure if she even wanted to. Despite his difficult personality, she did like him as a friend. However, if he was going to continuously put her relationship in jeopardy, she saw no reason to continue their friendship.
"You guys had a fight?"
"Guess you could call it that."
Jura stared down at her. "You doing okay?"
For a moment, she was sure he saw a bruise or two peeking out from her shirt. But a quick glance at his face told her he was directly looking at her face. She sighed heavily. "Yeah, I guess I'm fine. I just hate fighting with him sometimes.." She admitted somberly. Really, she meant to say that she hated fighting with him lately. Their relationship had been one big fight in the beginning. And they were fun because she didn't really care about his feelings or if she said anything to hurt him.
But the utter betrayal she kept seeing in his eyes…..
She hadn't seen him since the night before and she wasn't sure if he even wanted to see her. She had been blatantly caught with Sasori's tongue nearly down her throat. He should have throttled them both. He should have just murdered them.
Well, technically he did throttle you. You just happened to like it.
Xin's face pulled at the voice floating around in her head. She hadn't heard from the disembodied voice since her honeymoon. There had been many times when she thought the voice was gone but this had been the longest it was silent.
Oh, not gonna argue with me on this? You did like being throttled? Figures, you're usually such a dominant woman, the only way to put you in your place is to either beat you within an inch of your life or throw you over a desk and fuck you until you can't remember how to spell your own name.
"My name isn't exactly the hardest name in the world. It's three letters."
Three letters you couldn't spell last night.
"Christ on a cracker. I'm definitely seeking a shaman out."
"You still here, Xin?"
"Ahhh?" Xin blinked out of her stupor. "Uh, yeah. Sorry, just….I don't know. We've been getting along so well lately that fighting now really sucks."
"Lately? You guys always seemed to get along perfectly."
Xin snorted as they began walking from the training grounds. They had no destination in mind but Xin was supposed to be keeping an eye on him. "Do you know me? I don't get along perfectly with anyone."
Jura chuckled while folding his arms across his chest. "You're a little rough around the edges," He stated, neither agreeing nor disagreeing with her statement. "But obviously Kazekage-sama was able to look past that."
Xin decided to stay quiet, they were treading on dangerous grounds. "This is weird," She stated suddenly, coming to a stand still. She placed a hand on her hip and regarded Jura with pouted lips and quirked eyebrows. Jura paused and looked down at her, almost grinning at her confused expression. Deep down, he wished he could tell her just how cute she looked when she didn't understand something. But something like that was not okay and their relationship was already rocky, so he kept that stray thought to himself.
"What's weird?" He asked instead of smiling. Of course he knew what she meant but he just wanted her to keep talking.
Her lips twisted from a pout to a slight pucker. "You know what's weird. I've threatened your family on two occasions, you've had an entire team slaughtered because of your phony coordinates. We've done some dark shit these past couple of days and yet we're acting like everything's all sunshine and roses," She pointed out. Jura rolled her words around in his head. He'd always assumed that he wasn't like her. He was a good person, a good Shinobi. But lately...he has done some dark things. A team had suffered because of his false coordinates. He turned a blind eye when the tower went up in flames and when Xin was being tortured to death.
Didn't that knock him down to her level? But then again, did Xin ever turn a blind eye to such things? Did Xin lie and wait for the deaths of innocents? Did she allow senseless murder? Had he fallen below her level? He couldn't really tell at this point.
"Because we're friends," Jura finally decided to say with a shrug. "And that's all I got. We're friends. We made mistakes, we've realized those mistakes and now we're trying to correct them."
Xin stared up at him, unblinking. Then she smiled a sad little smile and coughed out a sad chuckle. "Yes, I suppose we are."
Xin wasn't aware that this mission required a party to send them off. Perhaps she was a little cranky because Gaara still had yet to speak to her but she was pretty sure there was no need for Matsuri, Sari and Hatsune to see them off. Well, actually, more like seeing Gaara off. The rest of them team simply waited for the worried girls to finish fretting over the Kazekage.
The little woman rolled her eyes while casually playing with one of her metal fans. "Temari," She beckoned the only other necessary female present. "What're they doing?" She nodded to the gaggle of girls.
Temari glanced up from her own giant fan, blonde brow quirked. "I suppose they're making sure Gaara has everything needed before we take off."
"Ah," Xin flexed the fan, eyeing the girls over it ominously. "And is touching him so much necessary?" She asked tightly, watching Matsuri's hand brush Gaara's arm for the umpteenth time. There was a slight twinkle of amusement in Temari's eyes. Of course, with Xin's homicidal ways, her anger shouldn't amuse the blonde at all. She should be worried for the three girls. Perhaps she had grown too comfortable with the younger woman.
"I'm sure it means nothing."
"Oh, it's definitely going to mean nothing when I cut her little grubby fingers off. Let's see her touch him with bloody little stumps."
Temari caught Xin by the elbow and dragged her back to her side. "Settle down, it's too early for bloodshed," She hummed casually. "Kankuro, go put some space in between them and Gaara before Xin throws something," She ordered. Her brother did as he was told and Xin was kind of surprised. "Something happened?" Temari prompted, fingers still curled around Xins arm.
"No," Xin answered simply.
Xin paused, eyes shamelessly boring into Gaara. Her eyelids lowered halfway and she smiled almost ruefully. "I'm fine," She stated simply, carefully.
"It's not like you to act like….his jealous wife."
The minute Temari said it, she noticed the stiff settle of Xin's shoulders. Well, it wasn't like Xin to act like his jealous wife on her own. The rue in her eyes dropped down into her smile. "No, I suppose it's not," She stated in that same simple tone. "But it is my job, isn't it?" She asked almost innocently. They way she spoke of love, calling it a job, annoyed Xin. Even after so long, the young woman still did not understand the concept of it all.
"Love is not a job, Xin," She pointed out slowly. Xin's eyes slid over to her, slightly creeping the woman out. There was just something about Xin's eyes that always bothered someone around her. They could never really pinpoint it but Temari was beginning to think it was the detachment in them. Her detachment to humanity. She resisted a shudder that wanted to wrack her body.
"He doesn't love me," Xin hummed, flipping her fan in the air. "I've accepted it. I haven't done much anyway to earn his love. So we fucked twice. Well, the first time we fucked, the second time he fucked me. Doesn't mean he loves me," She admitted casually. Temari did a double-take at the confession. Since when had their relationship escalated that far? Did the two even understand the impact sex could have on their fragile relationship?
"Wait, what? You've….you two had sex?"
"Yeah. Only two times though. But like I was saying, sex doesn't mean you love someone. I thought maybe if we had sex, if I gave him the one piece of purity I had left….well," She laughed emptily. "Well, I love him and that's enough, I suppose," She stated softly.
Xin shook her head. "I decided, I've had a lot of time to think, and I decided that it's not for me. Being his wife. Playing house. Being in love. It's not what I'm here for. I mean, yes, it's a part I have to play to keep the peace but it's not….it's not for me. I make too many mistakes, too much blood on my hands. Not enough, actually. There's more to come."
"Then why are you so jealous of Matsuri touching him?"
"Cuz' I love him," She admitted easily. "I love him so much and so does she but she'd never hurt him so he lets her touch him. But when I touch him, he's always a little on edge. He doesn't think I notice but I do. He thinks I'll hurt him or something. And I have, with Sasori, I didn't mean to but it happened."
"Sasori? What happened with Sasori?" Temari demanded, wondering what the older man had to do with anything at all. Xin opened her mouth but was cut off. It was time to go. It was time to set off and end it all. Despite that, Temari decided she would get the answers. Perhaps then she would be able to help the younger woman a little more with their rocky relationship.
Xin spun the fan one last time before latching it against her wrists.
She still hated traveling through the desert. Their travel went unhindered until their last day in the desert. She could literally see the border to Konoha, the stretch of trees clearly within view but the sandstorm caused the team to take refuge in a small hobble that eroded over the years.
She found herself sandwiched in between Gaara and Jura. She pressed into Jura's back, peering around his large form to stare out into the desert storm. She dutifully ignored Gaara, two could play at that game. If he was just going to ignore her and act like he wasn't the reason why her entire body ached, then she would act the very same! She was in love with him, yes, but she wasn't his slave.
The hand snaking around her waist nearly had her screaming when she was silently pulled away from Jura's back. Gaara looked down at her, setting her on her feet behind him. She stared back, a little confused about why he felt the need to physically move her away. Actually, she didn't see why he needed to move her at all.
Xin frowned as he turned back towards the entrance of the cave without saying much else. She didn't understand. He hadn't spoken to her not once the entire time they were traveling and now he just thought he could physically move her because she was standing next to Jura? Her frown deepened. And where the fuck did he get off deciding who she could and couldn't stand next to? It wasn't a problem when he had Matsuri practically draping herself over him!
She was about three seconds away from unleashing Hell on him when he suddenly turned towards her once more. He settled a heavy hand on her shoulder, leaned down and kissed her fully and thoroughly on the lips. Her head spun, her shoulders sank and her anger easily melted away. Gaara pulled away and stared down at her. Xin blinked languidly as if she was in a daze. "We need to talk," He stated simply.
She hardly thought now was the time to talk but hell if she would deny that. "You bet your ass we need to talk," She hissed, hoping her teammates couldn't catch their low tones and quiet hisses. "I hope you don't think a simple kiss would make up for this," She continued to hissed, pulling at the collar of her cropped jacket to show the trail of bruises. "I look like you beat the shit out of me."
"If only I was that type of man," Gaara sarcastically grumbled in a low tone. Xin gaped at him and shoved at his chest.
"Oh fuck you."
"Don't ask for something you clearly can't handle."
Xin's face flushed horribly and she ducked her head down. "Jesus fuck," She hissed more to herself than to him. "We're getting off track here," She pointed out quietly. Gaara narrowed his eyes down at her but she stood her ground. "Now isn't the time to talk about this but you bet your ass I have some words for you."
"I literally think that's my line," Gaara pointed out sourly. Xin rolled her eyes and shook her head. Why couldn't they just get it right the first time? She'd never know and neither would he. "We need to talk," He repeated almost impatiently. She blinked back into focus, her sorrow for their failing romance momentarily forgotten. They had more important things to focus on.
Gaara shot her a pointed look. "Yes, Xin. Right now. Let's discuss our fucked up personal lives right at this very second," He snapped down at her in annoyance. She settled a vicious glare on him.
"You know what, you Daddy issues having asshole? You make me sick. You make me fuckin' sick."
"I really don't think you of all people should accuse anyone of having Daddy issues. You're honestly the last person I should hear that from."
Xin's face twisted up in aggravation. "So when are we supposed to have this talk since you're the one with the bright ass ideas and all the answers," She nearly sneered up at him. Gaara bit the nasty retort down and muttered to himself. He didn't know why but Xin was the only woman who could actually get under his damn skin.
"Later," He tried not to snap at her. She only huffed and folded her arms across her chest, making it a point to look away. He only snorted at her childish antics and leaned down, kissing her forehead. Her stiff shoulders settled almost automatically but she still twisted her mouth up in stubborn determination. If he thought a couple of kisses would ease her tense anger, he had another thing coming.
"Oi," Jura perked up. "It looks like the storm is dying down. We should be able to move soon," He turned to the two, expecting to see Xin standing at his back. Instead she was practically hidden behind Gaara. He tensed at the close proximity between them but quickly tried to play it off. "We should get ready to get going," Jura tried to say calmly. Gaara nodded and stepped away from Xin. She watched his every move with narrowed eyes but slowly nodded as well. She took a minute to quietly gather herself and rushed out after her team.
The minute Xin crossed the border into grassy ground, she sighed in relief. She smiled widely, basking in the shade the forest provided. Jura landed next to her with a thump and smiled slowly. "You're enjoying this a little too much," He elbowed her side. Xin only threw her head back, taking in the familiar territory.
A content sigh escaped her pink lips and she waved him off. "Shh, don't speak. You'll ruin the moment. Just let me have this," She shoved playfully at his shoulder while still basking in her home-territory. Jura continued to smile down at her, a chuckle or two escaping him. She could be so dramatic at times. He didn't really see what was so great about a forest but he figured Xin probably felt the same way about the desert.
"Focus, Xin," Gaara chided while landing on her other side. The tiny woman instantly turned to him with a pout, their sour feelings towards each other momentarily forgotten.
"You never let me have anything."
"You're becoming quite spoiled."
Kankuro and Temari watched from afar, taking in the odd scene quietly. "Am I missing something?" Kankuro asked after a long pause.
"You're missing a lot of things," Temari replied evenly.
"Do I wanna know?"
"I don't even want to know and I know."
Kankuro nodded sagely and folded his arms across his chest. He wasn't sure if he preferred the early stages of his brother's relationship with the foreigner or the one they now shared. It was sometimes disturbing to watch but Temari never seemed too concerned so he never worried. However, her current expression caused him to want to know what she knew. "They're hard to keep up with. One minute they're hot and the next they're cold. It's very hard to understand if you're not paying attention," Temari sighed in exasperation. At this point, she'd call the couple lukewarm.
It took a just a few moments for Jura and Xin to discuss the correct coordinates, with Xin subtly threatening Jura into submission before they could set out once more. She seemed to know where she was going, or at least enough to lead them confidently. They traveled through the day but when the sun began to set, they decided to stop for the night. They found a relatively innocent clearing but Xin shimmied up a tree to search their surroundings with her enhanced sight.
"Ah….I seeeee yoooou," She sung, catching sight of a bundle of different Chakra nearly fifteen miles to the East. "Gonna hunt you down," She continued to sing. "And rip your spinal cord out to fashion into a necklaaaace," She continued to sing around an ever-growing insane grin. She was so caught up in her twisted singing that she failed to take notice of the branch under her feet creaking. She continued to bounce, excitement rolling underneath her skin. The branch cracked and before she could even stop her insane singing and giggles, the branch broke and she was suddenly plummeting.
The other thick branches slowed her fall down and gave her enough time to twist around. By the time she dropped from the branches, Jura vaulted forward and caught her before she could land and potentially break something. It would do them no good to put the only medic-nin out of comission so early in the mission. She was littered with scratches, blooming bruises with twigs and leaves twisted into her hair and clothes. "Well fuck me sideways," She muttered in a daze
"Holy shit," Temari seemingly reacted first, yanking Xin out of Jura's lap. The world tilted and Xin was sure her brain was doing some weird shit, like melting out of her toes or something. That's certainly how it felt. "Are you alright?" She demanded, hoping Xin wasn't seriously injured.
"Uh…." Xin trailed off almost dumbly. Before she could say any more, she was snatched up once again. This time she was literally dragged off by Gaara, feet kicking up dirt as she went.
"Are you alright?" He asked once they were a good distance from their team. Xin stared up at him with wide eyes, still trying to catch up. If he'd just waited for her to answer Temari, he wouldn't have had to ask that question again.
"Uh, yeah. Why?"
"You just fell. Out of a tree, you just fell out of a tree. You fell far, Xin. Did you hit your head?" Gaara reached towards her head, feeling around for any growing lumps. Xin quickly knocked his hand away, slightly irked that he was treating her like glass but also somewhat touched that he was concerned with her well-being. Gaara fixed her with a particularly sour look but dropped his hand anyway.
"I'm fine. Trust me, that's not the first time I fell out of a tree. Don't give me that look, I grew up in Konoha, what do you think we did before we learned how to control Chakra? Broke my leg when I was six, my Dad was pissed," She calmly explained. Gaara roughly pinched at the bridge of his nose. Xin's lips curved into a slight smile. "Well, anyway, how about we have that talk?"
"Xin, I don't—"
"Why were you ignoring me?" She cut him off hastily. Gaara quietly regarded her but she plowed through it easily. "I mean, I get why you would have been mad about the whole Sasori thing, I do. I get why you would be mad about everything I've kept from you. I was wrong. I thought I was doing the right thing but I wasn't, so I was wrong for that. But you can't…you can't just react that way and then ignore me for days. We're married, goddammit, and you can't just throw me away like that!"
Perhaps she bumped her head a little harder than she thought. Xin blinked owlishly, like she had just realized what she said. But seeing as how she couldn't take it back, she simply steeled her shoulders and instead, narrowed her eyes up at him. He was beginning to notice how she tended to blurt things out when she was emotionally distressed and though he found it quite endearing, he knew she wouldn't appreciate it.
"I mean, look at me," She loosened the belt of her skirt and shimmied it down a little past her hips. Though once purple, the bruises lining her hips had mellowed out, turning into a yellowish color instead. "Not to say I didn't enjoy the sex, I did, a lot," She paused, having the nerve to at least blush. "But you can't...you can't just do something like that and then just ignore me for days! That's not how relationships work."
"And you know how relationships work," He bit out before realizing how harsh he sounded. Xin realized it as well because for a moment she looked as if he slapped the living shit out of her. But then her eyes narrowed once more but this time, she looked dangerous.
"You know, if I was as fucked up as you people say I am, I could have just said the sex was forced. That wouldn't look so great for your image now, would it? And even though it wasn't forced and I was totally willing, they'd believe it wasn't consensual. So don't get angry at me now, not when I actually haven't done shit wrong!"
Maybe he wanted to argue her point, because honestly that was some fucked up shit to say. But at the last second, he decided to bite his scathing remark down.
Xin's defensive stance dropped almost immediately. She stared up at him with an unreadable expression before slowly squinting at him. "Sorry for what?" She asked slowly. "Are you only saying sorry because what I just said now?" She demanded to know. And if that was the case and he was only saying sorry so she wouldn't cry wolf, she would not accept it. Not that she honestly would cry wolf. She would never do such a thing but she certainly knew people who would do things like that.
"No, I'm not just saying it because of what you said. I'm saying it because I was wrong and I shouldn't have handled it the way I did. I shouldn't have touched you."
She was still bothered. "It's not…it wasn't the sex, I told you. I liked it. I mean, you could've slowed down and gave me a warning, that would've been nice. It was just, you were ignoring me and I felt so..lonely," her eyes strayed away, feeling like a such for admitting such a thing. But it was the only possible way she could describe feeling each day when Baki turned her away from seeing Gaara. She was a lot of things but Xin was not stupid. She didn't believe for a second that Gaara was so busy that she couldn't even pop in to say hello and check on him.
It was surprising and a little disturbing that she depended on Gaara's presence so easily for keeping her from going insane. He knew her like no other and it was only him that she could truly be herself with minimal judgement. She found solace in him. Gaara felt something in his chest clench. No matter how much they liked to joke of Xin being a psychopath, they often forgot that she just was a young girl trying to understand what was going on around her. And when she couldn't just punch her way through her problems, she was left confused.
He reached forward, cupping her small face in his hands. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry I ignored you and even if you did enjoy the sex, I'm sorry. It shouldn't have gone like that, we should have talked about it. You're my wife, not my sexual punching bag."
Xin smiled slowly and grabbed his wrists, stretching up to lightly kiss him. "It's okay," She finally relented, feeling much better now that they had finally talked. They still had much more to discuss, especially since they had yet to talk about the whole reason why they started to fight in the first place. But she figured that wasn't something to discuss in the middle of the forest where anyone could stumble upon them. "Alright, now one last thing. Well, actually, two last things," her smile pulled into a sugary sweet one. She fell back to the flat of her feet and knocked his hands from her face to grab at them. She pulled him closer to her face and smiled even harder.
"If you ever in your life, allow Matsuri or any other woman for that matter, to hang off of you the way she was hanging off of you before we left," She paused, eyes glinting ominously. "I will do everything in my power to make sure your life is a living Hell. And that's not all, I'll personally rip her fuckin' eyeballs straight out of her goddamn face and force that shit down her throat, you hear me?"
Gaara laughed in her face. "I hear you, what's the other thing?"
"If Baki ever turns me away from seeing you again, I'll slap the bullshit out of him and use his body to hit you. I don't care if you're in one of those stupid 'life or death' type of meetings, if I coming knocking, you let me in. I'm not your Shinobi. I'm your wife. You could spare a little time for me."
"I don't think Baki would appreciate being slapped."
"Well, next time he better not send me on my way. I don't give a fuck if we get along great, if I want to see you, he's not stopping me next time."
For a moment, she'd forgotten what she told Temari. She'd forgotten of her promise to herself. To not being his wife. To not kid herself into thinking she could play house with him. To push away those frightening and disgusting thoughts of actually having children and being a Mother. All of it was easily forgotten in favor of his prettypretty eyes.
"Excuse me, are you guys done?" Temari suddenly appeared, looking less than pleased. "Because, honestly, leaving me with Jura and Kankuro? Way to be cruel and—Jesus Christ!" She exclaimed once she spotted Xin. Gaara wondered if it was a good idea to point out how disturbingly similar his sister sounded to his wife. He was going to cut their bonding time in half when they returned home. Temari was actually the most normal, sane one out of the bunch. It wouldn't do any of them any good if his harpy of a wife rubbed off on her.
"What the hell happened to you?" She demanded shrilly, eyes zeroed in on Xin's exposed hips. Almost like clockwork, Xin yanked the skirt back up around her hips and Gaara's hands dropped to the belt, effortlessly looping it together.
"Nothing!" Xin shoved past him, smiling cheerfully. "They're old, don't worry about it. I'm fine!" She insisted with an extra layer of sugar coated to her words. Gaara rolled his eyes and patted her shoulder as he swiftly moved past her.
"Take it down a notch."
Despite her sugar-coated smile, she glared easily at him. "I'm fine, honest. Just a misunderstanding," She insisted once she was directly in front of the older blonde.
But Temari's eyes are trained on her youngest brother. "Did Gaara do that to you, Xin?" She asked almost stoically. Despite it being a question for Xin, Temari's gaze did not leave Gaara. In turn, Xin noticed just how stiff his posture was. Clearly there was a war going on that she was not included in.
"I did it to myself now can we please go back to camp? We left thing one and thing two by themselves, who knows what type of disarray the camp is in now? Come on, let's go. Save all that glaring for our real enemies, yeah?" She tried to smooth the tension over, hands coming up to rest of their arms. It took her five literal minutes before one of them moved first. Next time, she threatened sourly, she'd throw their asses.
They don't doubt her words.
"You know, I assumed that this base would be more...I don't know…..gaudy?" Xin interrupted the tense silence that had overtaken the team.
"Okay, but don't you agree? Weren't you expecting more? I was totally expecting more. I can't be the only one."
"I agree. It's really boring, actually."
"Well, what were you morons expecting? Flame-throwers in the middle of the forest?"
"Well….no, maybe not flame-throwers…"
"It'd be pretty cool, though."
"You two are morons and I can't believe I'm stuck with you."
"Do you three not understand the concept of shutting up?" Gaara interrupted the three with a hard scowl. While Temari seemed slightly apologetic, Kankuro was apathetic and Xin was offended. She turned towards him, careful not to disturb her surroundings.
"Oh sure, like Masahiro has some freak mutant hearing and can hear us all the way out here? You shut up and stop being so rude. We talked about this before," She chided sourly, wishing she was closer so she could pluck him for his rudeness. Gaara glared at her, slightly exasperated.
"Me? Rude? Do you even hear yourself talking half the time, woman?"
"Oh, oh, I fuckin' hear myself loud and clear all the time. It's you who doesn't listen. Are ya listening now because if you get smart with me one more time while we're out here trying to kill Masahiro, I swear to God—"
"You guys!" Jura finally decided to speak up, clearly fed up with the family's bickering. Who knew they were this dysfunctional? They always came off as being kind, calm, and scary in a quiet way. They certainly didn't seem like the type of family to constantly argue, even with Xin's added presence. They always seemed to be amicable and peaceful but still intimidating. Which, apparently, was the total opposite. They really were just a bunch of bickering dorks, it seemed. And although it was amusing, now certainly wasn't the time. "If you guys keep arguing like that, someone will hear us and the element of surprise will be completely fucked."
It was collectively quiet and he nearly grinned in satisfaction.
"Oh fuck you, Jura."
"Seriously, Mikawa, who put you in charge?"
"I can do without all of the cursing, thank you very much."
"I hate all of you."
Jura groaned into his hands.
Once the foursome actually got their acts together long enough to put the childish bickering to the side, Xin used her Byakugan to survey the area. "Still the same. Shifts are rotating soon though, if my timing is correct. In about four and a half minutes, two of em' will come out to check the perimeter. We'll take those two out and get in."
"Try not to get blood everywhere," Gaara reminded her dryly. "We want to make this as clean and quiet as possible."
Xin simply smiled at him. "Yeah, we'll see. Get your fat ass up, Kankuro. We've got two minutes."
"You're the one with the giant ass."
"Oh, we are not going there right now."
For all their bickering and childish antics, Xin and Kankuro made a well-fitting team. Kankuro easily captured the two guards with his puppet only to deposit them at Xin's feet. Her twisted smile was enough to tell the two of their fate. "See? No blood. Not even a splatter even though I reeeeally wanted to—"
"Good girl," Gaara blankly cut her off, patting her on the head. Despite how condescending it was, Xin grinned at him anyway and waved his hand away. "Let's get this over with. You remember the plan?"
Xin's smile dropped in favor of a pout. "Get in with Kankuro, find Ukyo and get out."
He patted her head again, "good girl." His hand dropped to the back of her neck. "Try to be careful. If you don't have to fight, then don't."
She looked back at him with a quirked brow of amusement. "We're ninja," She reminded him. "That's what we do," She brought her hand up to grasp at his. "We'd be out of the job if we could solve problems differently."
Gaara shrugged apathetically. "Be careful anyway."
Kankuro violently elbowed Jura towards the entrance of the compound while Temari conveniently checked her oversized warfan. Xin took the opportunity, stretching up on the tip of her toes to kiss him. It's quick and chaste and leaves room for more but she dropped back to her feet in an instant, still smiling. "Alright, Kankuro," She started to say while still smiling at Gaara. "Let's go get our girl and beat the shit out of who ever breathed on her wrong."
Kankuro grinned widely, knowing that despite his brother's urging to avoid any fights, the two of them would not come out unscathed.
Jura led the team down into the base with Xin at his back. She had one hand on his shoulder while the other hand pointed her metal fan to his back. Once they made it to the fork in the hallway, they separated. "Her Chakra is significantly low," Xin stated quietly as the two of the stealthy moved through hallway. There was barely any light and so they had to rely mostly on Xin's enhanced sight. "Two Chakra-signatures are posted outside her door."
"You think they beat her?" Kankuro asked.
"They beat the shit out of me so why not?"
Kankuro scowled, knowing someone would suffer for Ukyo's involvement. She was an innocent child that literally had nothing to do with the situation at hand. All she had done was show kindness and look where it got her. "I hope you know that we're beating the shit out of somebody," Xin broke the silence that had momentarily settled over them.
"Well, you're my favorite for a reason," Kankuro grinned at her back. Xin snorted and turned so that he could see her rolling her eyes. He shared a laugh with her when they suddenly heard shuffling. The two instantly quieted, pressing their backs to the wall as they came to the end of the hallway. "Coming this way?" Kankuro whispered.
"Take them out?"
"Taking them out."
It was only moments later when a man swamped in black came around the corner. Xin struck, catching the man in the face with a quick punch. He stumbled backwards but Xin grabbed him by the shoulder, effortlessly swinging herself up onto his shoulders. The two dropped to the ground with Xin's legs tightening around his neck. He struggled for a couple of minutes before going still.
"You didn't kill him?" Kankuro asked, helping the younger girl up. Xin simply shook her head before motioning to tie the man up. He did as she instructed, easily tying the man up before propping him against the wall. Xin turned away from the slumped man only to get brutally punched in the face. She fell backwards, clutching her face. Blood instantly began pouring from her nose and a muffled curse left her lips when she hit the floor. Kankuro launched automatically over her, tackling her attacker with ease.
He easily overpowered his opponent, sinking a Kunai into his side and knocking him unconscious with one single punch. By the time he had the man secured next to the other one, Xin had managed to sit up on her knees. Her face twisted in discomfort as she pressed her fingers to her broken nose. With one harsh poke and a quick spark of Chakra, her nose cracked back into place. Kankuro grimaced at the sound but Xin simply wiped the blood off with her sleeve. She wriggled her nose, making sure that it was alright.
"Motherfucker sucker-punched me," She grumbled as Kankuro helped her to her feet once more. "Son of a bitch," She hissed, harshly kicking the man. "I'm gonna enjoy killing you as soon we bust Ukyo out," She continued to grumble sullenly, knowing that Kankuro would eventually start teasing her.
"How's your nose?"
"Oh fuck you, Kankuro."
The two hurried down the next hall, all the while quietly bickering with each other. Their petty arguing ended up with Xin swiftly punching Kankuro in the stomach. While he doubled over and tried to regain his breath, she slowly tried to unlock the door. "Kankuro, this would be so much easier if you weren't back there gagging like that…" She threw over her shoulder, glancing at him briefly to show the disdain in her face.
"Oh, excuse me, it's not like I can breathe right since someone punched me in the goddamn stomach."
"Well you wouldn't shut up. I told you to shut up."
"Yeah? How's it working for you now?"
"Stop bitching, I can't hear the locks…"
"Why don't you just break the door down? It's not like we really care about property damage, you dunce."
"Why don't you just break the door down," Xin mockingly threw back at him before straightening up. Hell if she would admit that she really hadn't thought of just kicking the shit in. Since Ukyo's pathetic Chakra wasn't pressed to the door, she figured she could just break it down. She tore the door from the hinges almost mindlessly. Kankuro watched, sometimes still amazed at the strength that lingered under her docile appearance. Wordlessly she tossed the door to the side and stepped into the room.
Instantly both of their faces twisted at the smell that assaulted their noses. Xin instantly held up her sleeve to her face, only slightly blocking the smell out. The room reeked of..."It smells like sex in here."
Xin said nothing, hurrying over to the little form balled up in the corner of the room. Kankuro followed after her and the leaned over the form, Xin slowly reaching out towards the form. "..Ukyo…." She called softly. The two jumped backwards when Ukyo began screeching at the top of her lungs. The two scrambled forward as soon as they regained their footing. Ukyo lashed out, nearly catching Kankuro's throat with her nails. "Ukyo! Ukyo! Shut up! Shut up, you're gonna draw attention to us!" Xin shouted over Ukyo's screaming. "Kankuro, get out!" She snapped at him, turning briefly to shove him towards the door. Despite clearly not wanting to, Kankuro did as he was told, retreating quickly.
"Ukyo, calm down!" Xin wrestled her down and grasped at her face. "Look! Look, it's me! It's Xin," She tried soothingly, rubbing her thumbs against Ukyo's heated face. Ukyo's blue eyes filled with tears the minute she calmed down and realized who was in the filthy room with her. She let out a strangled wheeze and collapsed into Xin's chest, sobbing all the while. "Who did it, Ukyo? Do you know their name? What they look like? Tell me."
But Ukyo continued to sob. Xin gritted her teeth and shook her head. "Are you injured anywhere else?" She tried a different tactic. Ukyo mumbled into her chest but Xin did pick up something about her ankle. She studied her ankle, noting that it was twisted awkwardly. Ukyo must have tried to run and in retaliation, had her ankle broken. Her anger spiked at the thought. Retribution would be paid before she got out of this place, she didn't give a fuck if she had to fight Gaara on that, she would get revenge for Ukyo.
But for now, she twisted out of Ukyo's grip to further assess the broken ankle. Ukyo continued to sniffle and whimper, fingers digging roughly into Xin's sleeve. Xin whispered soothingly to her in soft murmurs, trying her best to ease the girl. She began humming softly, recalling a rhyme her Grandmother would sing to her whenever she got too fussy. "Save your tears, for the day..when our pain is far behind…," She gently picked at Ukyo's ankle, checking to see if any bone pierced the skin. "On your feet, come with me, we are soldiers, stand or die…"
She paused and blinked rapidly at the lyrics of the rhyme. "Who sings that type of shit to a four year old? What the hell is wrong with my family? No wonder I'm as screwed up as I am…"
Ukyo laughed. Xin thought she just might cry at the sound. When she saw that no bones had pierced her skin, she sighed in relief. A clean break was easier to heal that a shattered one. "Okay, gonna set it back in place so just…" She gave no other warning when she twisted the flaccid limb. Ukyo tried not to scream, succeeding in muffling the scream into Xin's side. Xin continued to hum, seemingly ignoring everything as she fixed Ukyo's ankle back into place.
"Can I bring Kankuro back? You tried to claw his throat out but you know he would never hurt you, don't you? He loves you just as much as I do, you know this."
The thought of having a man so close to her almost set her off, Xin could just see it in her face. She frowned sadly, wishing she could just take Ukyo's pain. She didn't deserve it. Any of it and she would make damn sure that their enemies would fall to her feet for Ukyo's sake. Ukyo slowly nodded and Xin signaled for Kankuro to rejoin them. He did so almost eagerly, just wanting to see Ukyo alive. He'd already lost Usui, he wouldn't stand losing Ukyo as well.
"Take care of her for a moment," Xin climbed to her feet and turned, ignoring Ukyo's whimper thrown at her back. Coddling her would get them nowhere. She needed answers and she needed them now. Xin rounded the corner, coming upon the two they had taken out earlier. One, the one Kankuro had stabbed, was beginning to show signs of stirring. She watched him for a second before scowling harshly. Without warning, she kicked him across the face. "Wake up!"
Without missing a beat, she seized him by the head and slammed him face-first into the wall. "You're gonna tell me what I want to know. And you know what I want to know? I want to know who's sick enough to touch a fuckin' girl like that. Who did it, huh? Was it you, you piece of flaming dog shit?! Did you break her fuckin' ankle so she couldn't get away and then had fun with her? Did you?"
With her other hand, she reached forward and plunged it into his open wound. He screamed, loud and agonizing but Xin pushed deeper. "It's only gonna get worse," She stated calmly over the screeching. She yanked her hand out, spraying blood everywhere. The bloodshed was enough to wake his partner up. He began struggling against the binds, alerting Xin. Her eyes snapped over to him and before he could even say anything, she shoved her bloodied hand into his mouth. With one great tug, she ripped his tongue out of his mouth.
Xin apathetically rolled the appendage between her fingers, eyes set low as the man let out agonizing but muffled screams. "Well, he's clearly incapable of answering so you better get on with it," She turned back to the other man and flicked the severed muscle away. "Names. Now or I rip something off of you next. Maybe your balls."
He started crying, knowing her threats were not to be taken lightly. They had been warned to generally avoid encountering the woman when she showed up again. She'd been willing to kill Minori, just a young girl, she wouldn't care about taking any of their lives. "Are you crying? For shit's sake…." Xin scoffed down at him, clearly disgusted. She hated people like this. People who blindly followed someone else because they were too cowardly to lead themselves.
She stilled, eyes seemingly glazing over before they snapped back into focus. "Kenta? The big idiot, oh I am going to cut his dick off and feed it to a squirrel," She hissed to herself. Xin almost felt gleeful, knowing she had an even better reason to hunt that big asshole down. "What a disgusting pig...did you stand by while he raped her? She's only thirteen but I guess that doesn't really matter now, does it?"
He said nothing, eyes darting towards his tongue-less partner. The man had quieted down by then, only soft whimpers emitting from him. "Well don't look at him, he won't save you. You're the one who decided to join an idiot's cause without really knowing what you're up against. Bet you're second guessing that now, aren't you?"
He still didn't reply but Xin only shrugged. "Nothing left to it but to do it, eh?" She unlatched one of her fans and without warning, plunged the bladed fan into his throat. He gagged and choked as blood soaked the fan but Xin continued to watch apathetically. "Alright, that's enough of that," She stated, leaning back far enough to slam her foot into the fan. The fan sunk even deeper into his flesh until his head rolled from his shoulders.
She caught the severed head before it could hit the ground, tossing it back and forth between her hands like it was a kickball. "You think he had any family left? I should deliver his head to them, you know, so they can know what a terrible, terrible human being he was…." She commented thoughtlessly. "But anyway," She tossed the head over her shoulder. "What should I do with you? Maybe I should've ripped something else off so that you could go tell Masahiro that I'm coming for him...too late now though, huh? Sometimes I just get so emotionally disturbed that I don't think things through! Do you ever get like that?"
Of course he offered no answer but Xin simply shrugged. "Well, anyway, your corpses will be enough of a warning," She stated, lifting her leg. She smashed her foot into his throat, hearing something crunch and crumble underneath. Xin stepped away, watching blankly as he tried in vain to just breathe. Shrugging, she left him to die. "Alright, we need to move," She stated firmly the moment she walked back into that filthy room. "Gaara says to get in and get out but I don't think that's gonna go as smoothly as he wants."
"Anyone specific we're going after?" Kankuro asked, stretching up from his perch in front of Ukyo. Xin looked past him, eyeing Ukyo almost sympathetically before steeling her nerves once more.
"Kenta. He's the biggest motherfucker in here. He's the one who….." She trailed off, looking at Ukyo once more. Kankuro knew instantly what she was getting at.
"The one…the one who raped me?" Ukyo stood up slowly, peeking out from behind Kankuro's bigger body. He reached for her immediately to steady her when she wobbled. "I'm fine, I can walk. It doesn't hurt anymore…"
The older Shinobi shared a look before Xin sighed heavily and shrugged her shoulders. "Yes," She answered simply, finding no reason to avoid it. Ukyo's face trembled for a second before it hardened and she nodded.
Xin only nodded back at her before shrugging out of her cropped jacket. "Might want to cover up," She said simply, handing the younger girl the piece of clothing. It left her in her armored mesh bra but luckily the fabric wrapped around her breasts was thick. She didn't really care too much but now her faded bruises but now they were on full display for everyone to see. But she had less shame than Ukyo and the younger girl's shirt was in rags. She would feel a little better if they girl was covered up a little more. She lost her innocence already but she still had her dignity.
Ukyo smiled gratefully and slipped it on, they were nearly the same size at this point so the jacket fit fine. Although, Xin noted sourly, pretty soon Ukyo would outgrow her soon. She snorted at the thought of being smaller than a thirteen year old. "Xin-Sensei, are you alright?" Ukyo asked, shamelessly eyeing Xin's bruised flesh.
Xin quirked an eyebrow and shrugged. "They're old, it's fine. Just….uh…"
Kankuro squinted at her, eyes trailing the bruises leading down into her cleavage. "Ew," He sneered simply. Xin only rolled her eyes, gesturing obscenities with her hands. Ukyo blinked, missing whatever they were hinting at. "You sure you wanna do this without a shirt on? Seems like an easy target," Kankuro began speaking while Xin led them out of the filthy room. "Gaara isn't gonna like this."
"Gaara can shut the hell up. Ukyo needs more coverage than I do. I'll be fine," Xin shrugged carelessly. She really didn't care for Gaara's macho attitude towards her state of apparel. If her confronting enemies in a bra and skirt kept their eyes from Ukyo, then she was willing to make that sacrifice. Besides, men were easily distracted by breasts. Simple idiots.
They walked almost aimlessly when the floor beneath their feet trembled. Without warning, the floor beneath Xin opened and she was immediately swallowed up by the gaping hole. She fell with a surprised cry, grunting when she felt a hand wrap tightly around her wrist. Looking up, she sighed in relief and smiled brightly at Kankuro. "Don't let me fall," She told him. Kankuro didn't have a chance to answer when Ukyo shouted from behind. Xin's Byakugan surged to life and easily made out three Chakra signatures rushing towards Kankuro and Ukyo. Cursing, she tugged on Kankuro. "Don't drop me, Kankuro. Pull me up, pull me up right now—"
Kankuro's grip on her wrist vanished and she dropped.
Luckily she didn't drop far but she did drop hard. She scrambled to her knees, looking up towards the ceiling just in time to see it close. "What the fuck," She groaned, brushing stray hair out of her face. She could hear shouting through the ceiling, most likely shouts of battle. She pouted, clearly annoyed with the turn of events. Briefly she played with the idea of blowing the ceiling up but quickly tossed that idea to the side. That could just bring the whole place down.
Xin huffed and climbed to her feet, deciding to just move on. Eventually she would find her way back to them. And on she went, carefully moving through dark hallways until she was practically lost. Of course, Xin wasn't one to admit being lost, despite her terrible sense of direction. Something her friends in Konoha would tease her mercilessly about. Who ever heard of a Hyuga with a terrible sense of direction?
Xin found it odd that after some time of wandering, she had yet to run into anyone. She could vaguely feel Kankuro's Chakra and even Gaara's Chakra. Every now and then she felt unfamiliar traces of Chakra but they steered clear of her. Xin came upon a large but empty room. Her shoulders slumped and she began searching for another hallway to go down when a surge of Chakra suddenly came barreling towards her. She rolled out of the way, narrowly dodging being sliced with a katana.
She let out a long breath, eyes narrowing at Kyohei. Slowly standing, Xin unlatched her fans. She faintly remembered the deal between Baki and Jura and cursed internally. "Kyohei," She greeted simply. "Because of your brother, I have to ask you. Well, more like tell you. Back. Off."
Kyohei cocked his head to the side, not expecting those type of words from her. He'd known instantly when he found those two corpses in the hallway leading to Ukyo's room that Xin was there. He immediately set off to look for her. And to his utter delight, she'd been separated from her team. And now that he's finally found her, she wants him to back off?
Instead he held his katana up, pointing the tip of the blade at her throat. Xin's lips twisted up and she grumbled to herself. "I don't have time for this. Where's the big motherfucker?"
"Am I not a good enough opponent for you?" He asked instead of answering. He had a vague idea of why she wanted to know where Kenta was. And while he wasn't too fond of the man, he was the powerhouse and in turn, was valuable. Letting Xin kill him would put them at a severe advantage. He wondered if Xin really could kill the man. Not to say he thought poorly of the woman's skills. Quite the opposite. It was just that Kenta seemed likened to a damn cockroach. He would not die.
"You're not even good enough to breath the same air as me," Xin snapped hotly. "Either move or tell me where the sick fuck is so I can get this shit over with."
Kyohei narrowed his eyes at her. "So you've discovered what he's done to Ukyo."
Xin paused, muscles visibly stiffening. "So you are aware of what he did to her and you...you've known her since she was a child. You knew her brother. Her brother is dead and she's been raped because of these people and yet you sit by and watch it happen?" She squinted at him in disgust. He said nothing. "Hmph," Xin snorted. "And yet I'm the heartless one, huh?" She rolled her eyes. "Now move, I need to find Kenta and you need to get the hell out of my face. Go find your brother. You have much to discuss."
"Jura is here?"
"No, he's in Kiri," She rolled her eyes again. "Stupid question gets a stupid answer, moron. Now, for the third and final time, move."
"You no longer want to kill me?"
"I don't care about you."
Kyohei studied the agitated woman. Judging by her stance, she wanted nothing more than to decapitate him. Something had changed and he was willing to bet it had something to do with Jura. "Did my brother ask you not to kill me?" He asked, itching the run her through with his blade. She quirked a bored brow at him. "How sweet," He spat. "Tell me, did you agree because you love him? Because he loves you?"
Xin's face didn't change. "I'm married," She stated simply, speaking slow as if to say Kyohei was truly stupid. "I don't love your brother so I'm not sure where you got that from. I have my orders and you're not involved in them so move before I move you."
"So now you take orders from them?"
"Well, that's how this generally works out. The Kage draws up a mission and sends the team out with specific orders. That's kind of how life works out, y'know?" She was beginning to grow restless. "So are you gonna move or do I have to cut your leg off?"
"Woman! There you are!"
Kyohei turned and Xin strained to look over his shoulder before a predatory-like smile graced her lips. Kenta bounded towards them, a great big smile across his face. "I've waited for this since you escaped, little doll!" He exclaimed. Kenta had grown hopeful when Masahiro had sent another team out to kidnap Xin. He'd been eager to beat the woman within an inch of her life again and then rape her. She actually had the audacity to fuckin' bite him. She needed to pay for that.
She gave no warning, she simply darted forward and jumped up, forming a spinning ball. Her legs struck at only seconds apart, throwing the two away from each other. She landed gracefully, pleased that they were somewhat separated. She had to keep them separated. Kyohei had to be kept alive but Kenta was fair game. She knew the presence of each would hinder her motives but Hell if she would let Kenta get away. Kenta had no known weapon of choice but he was freakishly strong while Kyohei favored that damn katana, so he lacked in strength but made up for with speed and weapon efficiency.
To put it simply, they probably made a great team. And she had to be careful not to kill one accidentally.
Somehow, Kankuro ran into Gaara's team before recovering Xin. It took his brother maybe a nanosecond to realize his wife was nowhere to be found. "Where the fuck is my wife?"
Kankuro sighed heavily. "She fell through the floor," He answered simply. Of course the explanation sounded rather stupid and Gaara was not pleased. But what else was he supposed to tell him? Xin had literally dropped through the floor. And oddly enough, it closed up right after she fell. Clearly someone had been tracking them. But how they managed to stay hidden, even with Xin's sensory abilities, was beyond him.
"Ukyo!" Temari finally noticed the younger kunoichi. "You're alright, that's great," She sighed in relief at the young girl. "Why are you wearing Xin's jacket?" She tilted her head to the side, noticing the girl dressed in the purple jacket. It fit her just fine but she noticed in amusement that it was a little baggy around the chest area. Gaara's gaze narrowed at the piece of cloth Ukyo was decked out in. If Ukyo was currently dressed in Xin's top, then what the hell was that woman wearing?
"Ukyo's shirt was torn and Xin felt better if she was covered up," Kankuro stated. "But anyway, we got separated when some of Masahiro's followers found us. I didn't have enough time to pull her back and when we were finished, the floor closed up," Kankuro further explained. Gaara pinched the bridge of his nose. If they had simply gone back the way they came and left the building, Xin wouldn't have fallen for the trap. "You haven't located Masahiro yet?"Kankuro tried to distract his frustrated brother. Xin would be fine on her own. Really, it's the enemies he was concerned for. Even if they were talented enough to take her on, they stood no chance against her insanity and blood-lust.
"We keep getting distracted," Jura finally piped up, waving at Ukyo. Something in her eyes told him to keep his distance. Something severe must have happened during her imprisonment. She waved shyly back. "I'm sure Xin can handle herself until we run back into her. We need to find Masahiro and end this."
"With her luck, she'll probably run into Kyohei or Kenta. Maybe the both of them," Kankuro shrugged, knowing that's why they had yet to actually find Xin. She wasn't trying to reunite with them. She was trying to find Kenta.
Gaara narrowed his eyes at Kankuro. "You both were told to get Ukyo and get out until we finished this bullshit," He pointed out.
"You know your wife better than any of us, did you really think she'd follow that order?" Temari rhetorically asked dryly. She quietly noticed how Ukyo seemed to slowly ease around them until she was nearly hidden behind her. That caused Temari to frowned thoughtfully. Something was wrong. So very wrong.
Xin darted down a dark hallway, cursing her awful luck of having to deal with both Kenta and Kyohei. She'd been right when she assumed they made a good team. They made a great team, a dangerous team. "Fūton: Kazekiri no Jutsu!" She twisted around and sent blades of wind to her pursuers. Kyohei dodged but several of them sliced into Kenta, spilling his blood nearly everywhere. Xin turned back and continued speeding down the hallway.
A shadow overtook her and she barely had time to skid to a stop in front of Kyohei. He swung the blade but she bent backwards, briefly spotting Kenta still some ways down the hallway. She sprang back up, palm poised to strike him just under the chin. A burst of Chakra exploded from her hand and suddenly Kyohei felt some of his own Chakra seal.
Kenta came barreling towards them, causing both of them to dodge out of the way. Xin pressed into the wall, hurrying into a duck when Kenta threw a punch. His fist slammed through the wall, debris raining down on the small kunoichi. She took her chance, swiping one of her fans at his leg. The fan sank easily and deeply into his leg. Kenta fell back with a cry of pain, taking her fan with him. Xin cursed and quickly rolled out of the way of Kyohei's blade.
She was going to have to either break his arms or shut his entire Chakra system down if she wanted him down but alive. She sprang up and slid into an offensive stance. "Hakke Sanjūni Shō!" She attacked ruthlessly, fingers coated in her own Chakra to seal Kyohei's Chakra. The 32 strikes was enough to seal Kyohei's Chakra and paralyze him. With him out of the way, she could finally focusing on murdering Kenta.
Kenta was suddenly on her, yanking her up by the shoulder and effortlessly throwing her through the wall. Xin crashed through with a grunt. Before she could gather herself, he jumped on top of her, successfully knocking the wind out of her. "She wasn't good enough," He rasped down at her, not really caring that she was too dazed to fight back. "Wasn't strong, not like you," his hand yanked at her belt. "You're strong, little doll. I want you and I'm gonna have you. Then I'm going to kill you."
Xin scowled harshly, feeling one had pulling at her skirt while the other one tugged at her bra. Anger swelled under skin, itching to explode. How dare he defile Ukyo and then criticize her for not being Xin. He had raped the thirteen year old girl. He had raped Ukyo.
Xin's hand swept out, fingers curling around a large piece of the wall that had broken under her. She slammed the piece into the side of Kenta's face, throwing him off of her. She shifted her fingers around the piece and fell upon Kenta, beating his face in with her shoddy weapon of choice. She didn't stop, not when there was blood everywhere and not even when Kenta stopped moving under her. She didn't stop, not until his face was nearly flat and she could barely even see it under all the blood.
For a long time, she straddled the body. Carelessly she tossed the makeshift weapon aside and slowly stood up. As if there wasn't a dead body under her, she began fixing her clothes, noting that her bra was torn at the bottom. She grabbed Kenta by the ankle, slowly dragging him out of the wrecked wall. Kyohei was still lying in a heap where she left him, eyes wide at the sight of his dead teammate. She dropped Kenta and calmly made her way towards Kyohei.
Can't kill this one.
Xin moved easily around the hallway, collecting her warfan and Kyohei's katana. He could do nothing but watch as she moved around. For some odd reason, she seemed different. Detached, as if she wasn't really there. She would have normally been so animated but she didn't even crack a smile. Her eyes held no emotion, alerting him that something was severely off with her. It was almost like she was a different person. Xin twirled the katana mindlessly, face showing nothing.
She suddenly plunged the katana into his palm. Of course he couldn't exactly feel it right now but he screamed nonetheless. The blade easily plunged through his palm, out the back of his and into the floor. "Stay put until your brother comes," She uttered tonelessly. With a spark of Chakra, she bent the katana's hilt, pinning him there. And then she gathered up Kenta's corpse and left.
Xin easily found her way to the battle. The sounds of battle cries and clashing metal had her blood pumping. Her eyes glazed over as she watched from the large doorway of the room, seemingly mesmerized with the chaos. And then her eyes caught the sight of Ukyo. Backed into a corner with two figures towering over her. She might have been able to hold her own against them if she had her tonfa but the girl was weaponless. And scared. She was terrified of the towering males. Xin's eyes cut down towards Kenta, lip curled in disgust. He ruined her.
Her grip tightened on Kenta's ankle and she swung, throwing the corpse across the room. The body crashed into the first male and the other only had a split second to see Xin descending upon him, iron fan poised to strike. She twisted her wrist, slicing his head from his shoulders. Ukyo fell away with a shocked cry, stomach rolling at the sight of the headless man. Her eyes found Xin's form and she instantly shuddered at the sight of the woman covered in blood.
Xin slipped her foot under the head, suddenly kicking it with a burst of strength towards Masahiro. The man barely dodged Gaara's sand when the head ricocheted off the side of his side. He stumbled in surprise and Jura, who was close by, tackled the man.
A feminine gasp tore Xin's attention away. Her eyes light up in manic glee when she spotted Minori. She darted towards the girl immediately, catching her by the hair when the girl took notice her approaching figure. She dragged the girl in front of her, not caring that she had to slightly bend when Minori fell to her ass. Before the younger girl could even scream, the fan pressed to her neck. The smell of blood assaulted Minori's nose and she could clearly make out the splatter of blood decorating the pretty fan.
She stilled, muscles in her arm tensed as her gaze flitted to Gaara. He was giving her that look. That look of frustrated disapproval. "She's a child!" Temari called from her stance behind him. It seemed as if everything stopped the minute she was ready to drain Minori of her blood. As if the thought of killing a fifteen year old was the worst thing she could do. As if the entire room thought her to be so horrible for wanting to slaughter a young girl.
"She betrayed us," Xin stated simply. "We took her in and showed her kindness and she used it against us. I was beaten within an inch of my life and molested. Usui was murdered. Ukyo was raped. These people showed us no mercy," She harshly reminded them. With no warning, she drew the fan across Minori's neck. The girl let out a strangled gurgle, fingers clawing at the slit in her neck. Her blood spilled everywhere as she slumped backwards. Xin stepped away heartlessly as Minori turned to her side, attempting to vainly stop the blood from rushing out.
Masahiro suddenly let out a long terrible shriek. It was enough to distract Jura, allowing Masahiro to throw the large man off of him. He ran towards Xin, limbs flying haphazardly. He threw his entire weight into her, knocking her clean off of her feet. The fan skittered out of her hand. Her head slammed into the floor, stars bursting under her eyelids. Masahiro wasted no time, hand snatching a Kunai from his holster. "She was the only thing I had left of Komari!" He screeched into her face.
"Well now they're both burning in Hell!" Xin screamed right back once the room stopped spinning. His eyes widened at her words.
He plunged the Kunai into her chest.
The room exploded.
Well! Not as long as the last couple of chapters but certainly just as dramatic. At least I didn't make you guys wait an entire month, right? lol, I'm sorry I'm a terrible person I know. I haven't started working on Chapter 24 and I'm still a little unsure of how I want it to go so the next update may take awhile but we're nearing the ending! Which is a good and bad thing because I'll miss the story a lot when I'm finished with it. I wish there was a way to continue it after it's done but I don't see how I could.
I've also been getting back into Yu Yu Hakusho. Does anyone else like that anime? It's one of the anime that got me into Fanfiction. Anyone remember Quizilla? I was such a fangirl for Hiei on that site. I totally want to write a Yu Yu fic but I'm not too sure about the plot! I do have an OC though. Her name is Ohno Okoi and she's the complete opposite of Xin. Think it's a good idea? Imma do it even if you guys think it's awful, as soon as I get a good plot going!
I hope you didn't think that with all the sappiness between Gaara and Xin, that her insanity would just go away. Nope, the girl is a total fruitloop. Although I'm not sure if killing Minori is the worst she's done. I kinda felt bad for doing that to Minori but her role has always been to eventually dispose of her. What do you guys think? Too harsh? Not harsh enough? Let me know! Read, review, follow, favorite, all that good stuff! I hope everyone had a Happy New Year and we'll see you next update!