Written for the GaaSaku fanfest challenge on tumblr in August, 2019. The prompt was Dark Gaara or Dark Sakura. Gaara and Sakura are also OOC.
"Don't touch that!"
Gaara jumped slightly, frozen in place; his arm outstretched and his fingers curled in a coaxing motion. He wanted the cat to come to him. He wanted to touch it. So bad. Just a tiny bit of warmth in this cold, empty house he was forced to live in.
"I said don't touch that."
That familiar voice had the gall to repeat itself.
Breaking out of his rigid stance slowly, he forced himself to relax and stood up; Gaara supposed he had looked quite suspicious, positioned like that. He felt it necessary to look like an animal on the hunt. Stretching his muscles in an almost cat like, lazy manner, he turned to face his irate sister.
Since his growth spurt, she hadn't been able to look down on him in the literal sense, but Temari always maintained a commanding stature compared to him, nonetheless. Even next to Kankuro, who was also taller than her, she was never of lower standing. She was the only one that took after their father in that manner. But right now, she looked extremely nervous; her wide eyes and high pitched voice angered Gaara more than the demand. She was both angered and fearful of him. It annoyed him to no end that his siblings listened to the malicious rumours of his demonic heritage.
'How else could he have turned out so monstrous?' People asked. 'His mother must've been taken by the devil to produce a child so vile.' It was just a silly pack of superstitious lies. But sometimes, when the moon was full and his desire to watch blood drip from an open vein was strong enough, he believed them.
Years of neglect did that to a person. When he was a child, the ignorant villagers in town would pelt him; they took their cue from the great Sabaku clan that the youngest son to Rasa was just a lunatic who would grow up useless and insane. The story that his mother had been raped and gone mad was rampant among the lower class idiots.
Not that he would expect anything else from people who still traded goats for pigs.
Gaara refrained from frowning at his sister; he was used to the backwards superstition from strangers, but for some reason he just couldn't stomach that his blood family would stoop to such idiocy. If he was indeed related to them at all.
'We don't have a lot in common.'
Perhaps he was just adopted? These kinds of questions swirled around in his head for years before he gave up asking them. It was only at times like this, when one of his siblings was glowering at him and telling him to stay away from the household pets (like he was going to kill them, sheesh), that the dissimilarities between them made him question his own parentage.
He was seventeen now, and almost old enough to leave home. If he had been born a peasant, he could've done so long ago, but his father would not let him go until it was appropriate.
"Did you hear me, Gaara?" Temari waved a fan toward the cat, scaring it away. "Don't touch the animals on the compound. You're not supposed to be near them. You're just a-"
He was a demon in her eyes, and always would be. The demon that killed her mother.
"Fine!" He screamed, startling Temari almost as much as he startled himself with the outburst; her hand went instinctively to the curved blade she kept hidden at her belt. "You want a demon? I'll give you one!"
He ignored the sounds of his father and brothers' approach, mixed in with the harsh whispers of nearby servants. The only silence in the area came from his sister. Their family was rich, renown, and powerful; and even a demon child among the clan couldn't diminish their reach.
Gaara ran toward the only place he knew could help. The only source he knew of that could help him summon a real demon.
'And kill them all.'
There were so many books on the occult in his father's library that Gaara hadn't known where to start; he'd been reading about demons for a while now, looking into the fables and folklore, trying to figure out which one the villagers viewed him as. There wasn't anything in those books that would explain away his lust for violence, his predisposition toward lighting things on fire and fascination with the way blood travelled outside the body.
Rasa had a secret stash of black magic books that Gaara only knew about because he'd followed him that one time, in the middle of the night. Perhaps he'd collected them for the same reason the redhead perused them – to figure out what he was. Perhaps not.
All Gaara knew was the pounding of blood in his ears, the anger, the hate, and the desire to tear something limb from limb to be free of this place. Blood red spots obscured his vision as he rifled through the books as gently as his foul mood would allow him to. There were a number of books he remembered that talked about summoning imps and faeries to do favours, but he didn't need something so low levelled. He wanted to enter a bargain with something that was dangerous and foul beyond words.
'It's not real. It's all fake.'
His logical mind wouldn't allow him to entertain the idea that he was just lashing out in vain. That if demons were real and could be summoned so readily, his father would've done so and gotten rid of Gaara years ago. His heart just wanted to hurt something.
A scrolls that felt like leather; old, worn, and yellowed, it hadn't been maintained well it seemed. But perhaps it was older than it looked, even. Gaara stared at it, unfurling the xuan paper carefully, almost like it could break under his hands.
"How to summon darkness." He ran a finger over the intricate kanji. The title said it all.
'I have it.'
His head snapped up at the sound of his brother's voice, echoing through the library hallways. Kankuro couldn't see him, but he was closing in on his position. Perhaps he'd been followed after all?
"A servant saw you enter here."
That explained it.
"You know you're not supposed to-"
Gaara blocked out his voice, feeling a new surge of anger rise with the familiar mantra of what he was and wasn't allowed to do in this place. He'd contemplated summoning demons before – mostly out of fun – and even cast a few fun spells that were supposed to amplify the bad mood of everyone around him.
It never worked.
But something different was rising up in his throat this time; something far more disgusting than bile. He couldn't explain it, but this time was going to end better. He was going to get his revenge.
Hugging the scroll to his chest and feeling far more immature than he should about this, Gaara fled the library. There were preparations to make and sacrifices to perform.
Blood to spill.
'How did I forget the full moon?'
That was why he felt different. As the sun went down and Gaara found himself mesmerised by the faint light of the moon hanging over the Sabaku compound; a place that overlooked a maze of a town of sycophant peasants. It bathed the area in a soft glow that almost calmed him down enough to knock him out of his desire for blood and revenge.
'Nothing will come of it; I'm just going to end up having to hand this scroll back and be punished.'
He wanted to avoid the morning, and the pain that would inevitably come with it. He'd snapped. He could feel it like a cord wrapped around his throat that had broken and clung to his skin in desperation. Something inside of him wanted to rip it apart and be done with this world.
But the blood sacrifice had to come first.
Carefully, he made his way to the loafing shed in the back of the estate; all kinds of animals were kept for slaughter or milking on the grounds, to funnel the resources through the pockets of his father. It meant that he controlled even the most domestic income of the region; and fear of him kept the populous from revolting.
Gaara found the goat house quickly, tugging on the hood covering his distinctive red hair, just in case one of those nosy servants spotted him. With the scroll in one hand and a double-edged knife in the other, he coaxed one of the goats forward and grabbed the chain that hung around it's neck. The sharp sounds of discomfort were momentary; he started reciting the words the scroll dictated, holding the knife to the animals throat as he tried to concentrate on the summons.
With eyes wide open and expectant, Gaara slid the knife across the goat's throat, making sure to cut across the full breadth of it's gullet; deep, steady, and clean across. The goat gargled and thrashed for a moment, but he held tightly to the chain, transfixed by the trail of blood as it trailed down the length of the animal's shoulder, down the brisket, and onto the ground. He watched as the blood began to move against gravity and common sense, slithering along the ground; forming what he couldn't tell.
It spread out around Gaara, encircling him. He felt panicked, suddenly wary about this new development. Nothing in the scroll had indicated sentient blood.
That had to be it. Years of searching for a way out. Months of perusing and playing with low level spells that never worked out. Now it decided to heed his fury and revenge?
Gaara groaned when he realised the blood was forming a seal; it had a shape not dissimilar from the goat he had just killed. But the blood morphed again, leaving his enclosure and coagulating and stilling in a patch of grass, as though it had not been moving under it's own will seconds before.
"What the hell?" This was getting out of control.
"Is that really a wise mantra, given the situation?"
Gaara dropped the scroll and knife in fright, his eyes blinking heavily. A woman stood before him, seemingly having materialised over the blood, a smile on her face, hands on her hips, and wearing the most strangest of scant clothes; robes made to cover so little, it was giving him ideas.
He cleared his throat. "You're not the demon I wanted to summon."
She was more like an angel. With pink hair, bright green eyes, and a smile that lit up her entire face.
"Oh?" His disappointment didn't seem to bother her. "Who were you trying to summon?"
"You mean Shukaku?"
She pouted; hands on her hips, lips pursing in what he decided was a very seductive manner.
"That trickster wouldn't know a good summons if it bit him on the nuts."
He couldn't help the small, nervous laugh that bubbled up inside of him. "Who are you?"
"I don't have any friends."
"That's sad." She moved slowly toward him and Gaara couldn't move away. She poked his chest. "A young, strapping lad like you must be a big hit with the ladies at least."
He shook his head.
The girl giggled. "A virgin? Well, no wonder Shukaku didn't answer your summons, that rambunctious whore. You're more my type, anyway."
This was insane. "Uh..." Gaara realised all the anger and resentment that had been fuelling this encounter, was gone. In it's place was wonder, bewilderment, and wariness.
'With a hint of arousal.'
But that wasn't important.
She chuckled. "Relax. I don't bite unless you want me to. But I'm no sex demon, so get that lascivious look off your face. I'm joking," she assured him when started to stutter at her. "Jeez. Kids these days. Alright!" She made a show of swishing her short robes and fixing her hair. "Let's get this party started. What, mere mortal, is that deep desire that has caused you to summon me?"
Gaara glanced up at the full moon without thinking. This was why he'd summoned her… or at least, tried to summon a demon. Legend had it that Shukaku was the demon to call for a rampage. But, this girl who looked around his age, didn't look like she was ready to slaughter hundreds of people. Her skin was soft and creamy. Her face was angelic and happy. She even had painted fingernails and toenails to match her outrageous outfit. She might've looked more at place in the nobilty – albeit one with a less strict dress code. She was also very beautiful, and delicate looking. Could she even grant this wish?
"Come on, don't keep a girl waiting."
He inhaled deeply. "I… wanted Shukaku to, uh… kill everyone."
She blinked heavily at him. "Kill everyone? Like, your whole family and that little village nearby?"
She didn't look convinced, and he wasn't surprised. "Death and destruction? Are you sure?"
Was he, though? This wasn't a request he could take back.
'Why am I chickening out?'
The girl sighed. "Look, I am a demon, but I'm not here to carelessly slaughter people. If this is what you really want – to go full dark – then you should know you'll suffer consequences too."
She shrugged. "Oh, nothing compared to what the humans you want to kill will experience. Their end is nigh and I can help with that, but I need something from you." She took his hand and held it palm up. "Blood."
Gaara cried out, not expecting the open slash to his hand; she wasn't even holding a weapon.
She smiled humourlessly. "Call me when you make up your mind."
Gaara sighed, rubbing his wounded hand. "What's your-"
She disappeared; her outline faded and blurred out of existence. Almost like she hadn't even been there. How was he supposed to call her when he didn't know her name? And what was this consequence she spoke of?
'Probably for the best, anyway.'
He felt the sting on his hand as though he'd just awakened from some kind of dream. What had he been thinking, summoning a demon of all things? Even one as beautiful and seemingly harmless as her. He may be odd, and crazy, and a lover of all things macabre, but he was no killer. Not today, anyway.
The days following his break into Rasa's library, and Temari once again ratting him out about trying to "commune with the beast", were torturous. Locked away in one section of the compound, all Gaara could do was try to stave off boredom and hunger by trying to remember what the demon girl had looked like. It seemed the longer he went without seeing her, the less coherent his memory was. The wound on his hand had festered and was clearly infected, but nobody bothered to try to treat it. One servant even gave him a bewildered look when he asked for a healer for his hand. They were idiots, anyway.
Three weeks were all it took to break him.
Deep in the recesses of his mind, tied to the cellar and dankness of his prison, he felt the demon inside cry for release. The small bed in the corner of his new "room" beckoned him and he stayed, wrapped up in the thin blanket, reciting that summons that had infected him so. The call to the demon who had ignored his invocation.
When food came once a day and through the hands of yet another faceless servant, he could barely eat. Images of the townsfolk and his blood family writhing in pain and blood were his fuel now. His desire for retribution sustained him.
Twenty-one days on from his incarceration saw him summoning again; this time using his own blood. It wasn't enough to sacrifice some insignificant animal. He had to give of himself. As he felt his life beginning to ebb under the cut he couldn't remember making, Gaara was startled to hear her voice in his head. Out loud.
"You're a right mess."
He chuckled, looking up at her from the small comfort of the bed. "And you're an angel."
She scoffed. "Hardly. Come." She leaned down to pull him to his feet. "Your desire for revenge awaits."
Seconds passed in which he wasn't sure if this was a hallucination. It was the pink haired girl again.
"I… called for you?" He hadn't called for her, had he?
She nodded. "You cried for me in your sleep. You must want me really bad."
He lowered his eyes to the ground, fighting the blush warming his face. She slid an arm under his to support his weight.
"Don't go gushing just yet," she said. "I still have a promise to keep."
A chill swept through his body; one moment he was in a dank room and the next they stood on the roof of the goat house where he'd performed the first summons.
Her voice was just above a whisper, tickling his ear, and slightly desperate. He couldn't comprehend her urgency.
"Tell me to kill them."
Ah. She was eager to get with the killing. He'd summoned her to slaughter his family, to kill the townsfolk who tormented him, and leave none alive. His anger had brought him to this moment, where he was bleeding out and only the cold arms of his demonic contractor might give him some reprieve before he died.
"Kill them." His voice was croaky but he no longer cared. Whatever infection was festering in his body, it didn't matter – the only thing he had left was the darkness in his heart. The evil she wanted to bring out in him. That demonic nature the people in his life were sure had been there all along, waiting for an excuse to butcher them all.
The girl smiled, tilted her head slightly, and pressed her lips to her summoner's mouth. It wasn't a kiss, but it sure felt like one – not that he knew what those felt like. As he opened his mouth to let her in, it occurred to him that this was probably how all her deals went.
He didn't like that.
A foreign feeling of possessive jealousy boiled up inside him; screaming and wailing sounds in the distance couldn't distract him from the fervour he attacked her mouth with. When she finally pulled away, breaking the contact he longed to prolong, Gaara's brain began to clear.
Burning flesh, howling dogs, screaming women and children; the pink haired devil paid no attention to any of that. She just stared at him, running her fingers along his cheek. Her nails scratched his forehead and he hissed at the pain.
Was she marking him?
Gaara glanced toward the scene he hadn't been cognisant enough to acknowledge was his own fault. He could hear his family screaming; there was an inhuman growl echoing throughout the compound. He could see, from afar, the village burning; something born of hellfire was rampaging in the streets tonight.
His heart broke in that moment, with the sounds of innocents. And he realised with clarity, that they had all been wrong about him.
"I was never a demon," he said, tearing his eyes away from the carnage. He could no longer bear to look upon it. Instead, his naive eyes turned hard and dangerous, staring at the woman who now held him lovingly instead of in support. His body felt invigorated – reborn. He was something else, now.
Sakura smiled, brushing his fringe, and kissing the scar she'd left on his forehead to mark their new partnership. She growled; the sound was otherworldly.
"You are now."