A/N: This was written for the Sumigakure Halloween Event of 2016 on tumblr. The first chapter is based on the prompt "Kiss of Death." I sent it into territory similar to Rogue from the X-Men at first, and then it just got... weird.
Nii Yugito knows from the day she becomes the Nibi Jinchuuriki that she will likely never find love.
Well, not the romantic kind, anyway.
She's mostly okay with that?
(It takes Yugito years to realize that she doesn't mind the idea of never kissing anyone. The world spends so much time convincing her that her goal is to get married that it almost succeeds.)
Yugito will never know a lover's caress, a spouse's kiss, the feel of sexual intimacy. She knows this like she knows every other danger of hosting Matatabi:
She must never touch anyone for too long, or they will die.
The Nibi, far more than any of the other bijuu, is an entity of death. Death may follow some of the others, for sure, but they are… side effects, ultimately. They embody destruction, hatred, bloodshed, fear. They cause revulsion, and passion, and any number of emotions and ideas capable of causing death.
But they do not tie themselves to it as Matatabi does. Nekomata or Bakeneko, spirit cats are creatures tied to death. Seeing the dead, controlling them, channeling them… once Yugito gains control of the Nibi, she will be capable of it.
From the beginning, though, her touch confers death.
Yugito is lucky, in some senses. She is comfortable enough with contact that only occurs through cloth. She is only two when she becomes a jinchuuriki, and while her training is what many would call abusive, she still has a caretaker, and Bee, who are willing enough to hug her in her early years and otherwise give her the physical affection human beings generally need at such an age. She can't have skin-to-skin contact, of course, or she'll suck the very life out of them, but they do enough.
(Bee himself is only seven years older than Yugito, but he's old enough to consider himself one of the big kids from the very start. They meet when Bee is already in his double digits, and Yugito is still short enough that people don't realize who she is on first glance, just thinking that she's a normal child, all tiny and cute. He cares for her, in his own way, and he's… silly. That's okay. From the beginning, Yugito needs a little more silly in her life.)
She wears gloves and long sleeves and long pants that cover everything. On the rare occasions that someone brings the issue up, she lets a Cheshire grin curl over her face, pulls off a glove, and wiggles her fingers in their direction.
"Would you like to see why?"
Her eyes gleam when she does that, she knows. Matatabi likes to see he play with people, to take her petty enjoyment when they press too hard on subjects they shouldn't. If her eyes turn green and blue, with slit pupils and fire in her iris, then it's nothing anyone can prove, gone as it is by the time anyone other than her target thinks to check.
They usually stop asking questions around that time.
Yugito wonders, at one point, why the Raikage never sends her on missions to assassinate someone by faking sexual interest.
She figures he knows she isn't interested in anything like that, and realizes that sneaking in and sucking the life out with a single touch is harder to trace than the fake lover dozens could have seen the target with.
(The Raikage doesn't care about Yugito's preferences, ultimately. He just thinks she's more useful on the battlefield than on missions where a flinch of disgust could ruin the whole thing.)
(Yugito thought for a very long time that she was simply a late bloomer. She later finds out the meaning of 'asexual' and 'aromantic' and holds those words close to her chest, wears them like a shield, and tells Bee once in a while how grateful she is that of all the people to get Matatabi, it was one of the few for whom the loss of sex was no real loss at all.)
Yugito's touch does not kill immediately. A glancing blow does little beyond momentary wooziness, a handshake perhaps an hour's fatigue.
But it's so very hard to notice.
Yugito can fake romance, somewhat. She can smile warmly and cradle someone's chin in her hand, at least, and that's all she needs. Their lives drain out into her, and she'll never tell anyone of the high she gains from killing. It's not just adrenaline, for her. There's a Pavlovian response, there, where killing makes her feel more alive than anything else. Even if she does not kill by draining (and she usually doesn't), she feels a phantom of that sensation, craves it despite her better nature.
(She takes more assassination missions than most, just to chase that addiction without spinning out of control.)
At the age of twenty-three, Matatabi finally accepts her friendship, and shares the secrets of the afterlife with her, shows her how to see and catch and cradle spirits as she should, how to chivvy them on to the Pure World when they linger and fester with the living. Yugito does not hunt for lost souls, but she follows their paths when their power touches hers, and sends them on. It's not quite a secret, but she keeps it to herself nonetheless.
She is twenty-nine when Akatsuki comes for her.
The bounty hunter stays back, mostly, watches as the pretty-boy with the scythe chases her with wild swings and wilder laughter. He is immortal, in his own words, and with how he shrugs off her most dangerous blows, shrugs off Matatabi's flames and claws, she's willing to consider it.
He nicks her, only once, but it's enough. He begins his ritual, stabs himself, and Yugito thinks No.
Matatabi provides her answer, which is simply Kiss him.
Yugito doesn't know how that'll help, but it's a shred of a hope, so she grabs it with both hands and runs.
She charges Hidan with what's left of her strength and power, knocking him from his circle and onto the ground. She straddles him, forces her mouth to his, and squeezes her eyes shut so she can just… not think about what she's doing.
Oh my god, this is so gross.
He taste like blood and char, and it's a familiar taste to a woman that breaths murder and arson. She feels Matatabi recede, purring as life flows from Hidan to Yugito, tainted by something distant and ancient and powerful.
A terrified, broken sound escapes the man beneath her, but Yugito doesn't let go. She only listens harder for the partner, who seems content to see her slaughter the pretty man before interfering himself.
The life-force ebbs, but the distant power grows stronger, more fully present. Matatabi's purrs grow louder, and she urges Yugito to stay where she is.
Yugito doesn't let go.
She doesn't let go as she opens her eyes and sees the wide, glazed pink eyes of the man that tried to kill her. She doesn't let go as she realizes his skin has returned to its original tone, while hers is greying unnaturally by the minute. She doesn't let go as she feels that ancient power begin to form more fully in the back of her mind, screaming all the while. She doesn't let go as Matatabi yowls and attacks it, tearing it to shreds before it can ever finish forming, taking advantage of the ongoing weakness caused by being but a miniscule part of a whole, a smaller part of a god than Matatabi is of the original Beast.
She absorbs the entirety of the ancient god, but does so in such tiny pieces that Matatabi can prevent her from being absorbed by it, and its power only joins hers.
She doesn't let go until there's nothing left in the empty corpse beneath her.
Yugito stands and faces the remaining Akatsuki, and wipes her mouth. Her hand is black and white, and she gets the feeling that she'd see a Jashinist's markings if she were to bother looking in a mirror.
When she speaks, her voice is layered with that of hundreds of others. (I am legion, she thinks, and laughs to herself. There is no one in her head save for herself and Matatabi, but oh is there power.)
"I have eaten an Elder God this night," She says, trying to strike the right balance between old speech and new to seem imposing without going so far as to seem silly. "Pray that I do not set you in my sights next."
He eyes her for a moment, and then leaves in a Shunshin with only an annoyed "tch" to mark his passing.
Yugito waits a moment, and then collapses to the ground and laughs, laughs and cries and—
She looks over to the man she'd thought dead, and sees him staring at her with something akin to wonder. Wonder and fear and hatred and adoration, all rolled together into a single expression.
"Not quite." She says. He seems too weak to move beyond speaking and staring. She moves over to him, crouches and puts a hand to his cheek. He tries to flinch away, but there's nothing for it.
His skin is ice-cold, and something in her curdles and laughs as she realizes she is pulling nothing from him because he is hers now. She has, in effect, taken the place of his god. She has become his god.
She focuses, and the drain restarts, but it stops as soon as she chooses to let it.
Yugito eyes him for a moment, and then stands. "I shall deign to allow you to live. You are mine as you were Jashin's, as I have taken him within me and become what he once was. I am your god, and you shall serve me, or you will reject your religion and leave to lick your wounds. If you choose to follow me… I await you in Kumogakure."
New god or not, she has her loyalties. Even as Matatabi laughs, she returns home, and considers the fact that she has, most likely, gained a worshipper.
She only hopes he doesn't think the kiss is happening again. Ew. Gross. No.
(He shows up three days later, and follows her around like an errant puppy.)
(The Raikage isn't exactly pleased, but…)
(Hey, there's another S-Rank that's loyal to Kumo by proxy, right? That's gotta count for something.)
(Bee thinks it's hilarious.)