NotesNotesNotes: Hi. I know, super late. To be honest, it's been written for a while now. Just not edited. Not until now. I suddenly lost my interest in fanfiction altogether. :\

And because of that, I lost my motivation in writing any of my fictions here. I will still try to update, however. I will finish this. At the very least, this.

Note: I have a reason for the loup-garous. They will come and I will eventually shed light to what they are for. Don't worry.

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Coexisting

Standard disclaimer is applied, my friends.

neon kun

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.chapter xiv

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Naruto watched Hinata who was on edge since he found her in the garden. He asked her once and twice but she made no sign of answering. But he couldn't leave her so he waited.

"Tenten-chan," she started, fiddling with her fingers, a habit he thought long gone but apparently resurfaces when she's nervous. "Tenten-chan is undergoing conversion."

Naruto blanched without reserve. "Tenten?" his jaw twitched. "What—how?"

"Neji-niisan converted her."

"What—why?"

"It was under her request, so she said."

"Tenten?"

"She wanted… to be with Neji-niisan and Neji-niisan said he put up a fight but inevitably followed through her request. It seemed he wanted be with her as well."

"Wonderful. There go their souls," Naruto said rubbing his head. When he heard no reply from the girl, he looked at her and saw her distressed still. "What's wrong?"

"Tenten—,"

"No, what else is wrong, Hinata-chan?"

She looked at him with tears threatening to spill. "I'm losing my humanity."

Naruto furrowed his eyebrows, knowing how touchy the subject was. "That's too fast. You only fed once recently."

"But the fact that I did sped it up, Naruto. Right now as a half-vampire, I can still pretend I'm human. Even if just moments. But soon my toxin blood will empower what little left of the remnants of my humanity and I shall become a full-blooded Imperial."

Naruto had to be honest, he knew very little about half-vampires. They were rare and the only reason they knew of them much as they already do is due to the Hyuuga coven which, for what it's worth, could produce offspring with humans. Any coven else who had tried ended up killing the humans. The Hyuuga coven was a wonder and a mystery all the same and they are deemed in high esteem due to their genetic anomalies. And while they could live the longest due to their life structure, most Hyuuga Imperials die half a millennium earlier than they technically should.

He remembered Hinata telling him something about a cursed seal on their coven but truthfully, Naruto could hardly remember details from decades ago. All he knows now that while Hinata is considered a half-vampire, based from her worries, she's more accurately probably three-fourths a vampire already. But he wasn't about to go saying that.

"Hinata-chan, I know that you want to be a human and honestly, I think it's a wonderful dream. But hey, we still have a long life to live. Maybe a cure to our vampirism will be found in the future? Don't lose hope."

He grinned at her and Hinata couldn't help but smile. Naruto knew the words to say to make her feel better, even if she knew it was futile. Because hers and his vampirism was not a disease unlike that of the Uchiha coven and can be hoped for a cure, if such was researched. But theirs? No. Theirs was natural.

How do you cure what's natural?

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Sasuke looked at the man who motioned for him to his study. He followed wordlessly. When the door closed and they had their privacy, Itachi sat down on his chair and he gestured for his little brother to do the same. Sasuke complied.

"I will be infiltrating the Loup-garou's dens," Itachi said calmly, leaning casually on the backrest of his velvet arm chair. "In search of more information on the Scent of Youth."

Sasuke looked at him sharply. "That's reckless. Get a shifter to do that. The mongrels will know what you are instantly."

Itachi tossed lightly a vial towards Sasuke. The younger sibling caught it easily and blanched at the smell despite not uncorking it yet. "Mongrel scent. This again. You'll be covering your scent with this? I bid you good luck. You'd die from the stink before you get anything substantial," Sasuke said. "Moreover, you look nothing like a mongrel, 'nii-san. How are you going to get pass their defenses?" He turned tossed the vial back to Itachi, not wanting to have it anywhere near his range of smell.

"Sasuke, I lied," Itachi said. Sasuke raised a brow. "What?"

"I won't be going there for the Scent of Youth."

"Then what for? And why the sudden withheld of interest in it? We practically know nothing except it's an elixir."

"Negotiations."

"You dare stoop so low?"

"The mongrels of this land are unsophisticated, barbaric and clueless. Perhaps we can use their one-sided and foolish minds to use against your war."

Sasuke gritted his teeth but smirked eventually. "My war, is it? Yes. I suppose so. Well, do what you want. There is no stopping you anyway. Just remember that I will be laughing at your grave if you lose to a bunch of mangy dogs."

"I'll be bringing home pets, little brother. Think of good names."

"I will never understand your affinity to the mongrels," Sasuke sneered, incredibly disturbed.

A rap to the door was heard and Itachi gave the permission for entry. A vampire entered the room with his head bowed very slightly. "Itachi-sama," he said before spluttering and turning to Sasuke. "S-Sasuke-sama. I bring news."

Sasuke ignored his impudence and Itachi told him to continue.

"A letter arrived addressed to you. It is… well," he coughed on his fist.

"Ah," Itachi turned to Sasuke. "I take it well you have prepared for the matrimony, little brother? If I so do recall, mother has asked for your presence," he looked at his pocket watch. "Twenty minutes ago."

Sasuke raised his eyebrow. "And you dare tell this to me only now?" He scowled and left hastily, minutely dreading the earful of his mother about punctuality.

When the door closed, Itachi nodded at the messenger. He took out a letter in his satchel and offered it to Itachi with both hands. "From the Loup-garous, my lord. Tis a reply to your... preposition."

The first prince took it with a slight musing. "So they actually replied. Fascinating." He turned the letter to its backside, inspecting for any oddities that may have came with the package. When he was sure there was nothing else to be done but to read it, he turned to his faithful subject.

"Well done, shifter," he said. "You have not dampened my expectations. You are dismissed. As per usual, this is not to be told mindlessly."

"Yes, my lord." He left the scene. Itachi opened the letter and read the contents without dillydallying. He smirked in fascination. "Checkmate."

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"Prince Sasuke, you are very late," Queen Mikoto reprimanded with a slight shake of her head.

"My apologies, mother," he said, closing his eyes when he knelt in front of her. "Brother told me of it too late."

"Well enough of that," she said, smiling and telling him to come forward. "I wish to talk about the matrimony. Grand banquets and a ball—it sounds all very lovely, does it not?"

"If so you wish, mother. I would carry your wishes if it brings you such happiness," he replied, enjoying her mirth. It wasn't as though Mikoto smiled very rarely, but he knew she wanted so much more from this life – what was eternity if you were to spend your everyday with so limited movements? And he knew she loved balls and banquets but it could rarely be happened that it seemed to him she was more excited by the marriage than himself. He only wanted the bind that came along with it; when she's wed to him, Sakura and he shall be more attuned to each other and they will be bound to each other till their deaths. And anyone who dare sully that bind would be engulfed in flames. Since that day decades ago, when he witnessed such an event, he was so compelled to it.

"Your kindness never fails me, my son," she said. "Now, for the wedding, you only need to be bound to her, yes? To exchange sinking of fangs is such a dangerous thing for her being human. How do you suppose that?"

"She needs only to drink a drop of my blood. And I to hers. There is no need to truly sink my fangs on her."

"That's what I thought you would say. All right. I will somehow convince the Akatsuki to let this idea be. But my son, I have a most grave request to ask."

"Yes, Your Highness?"

"I'd wish for you or Itachi to check on the Capital. You know they will not agree with this arrangement. So would you think Sakura's body will be able to take a second sip of your blood?"

Sasuke's eyebrows rose in curiosity and intrigue. "I'd believe so. But what for?"

"Precautions, my son. I think you'd know very well how the Imperials work, and despite our power here, they may have spies everywhere still."

"What do you have in mind then, mother?"

She smiled. "Bring the girl over tonight and you will know."


MoreNotes: I know. I've been very busy and I've lost my interest. I did try to write but the thoughts were bland to me. My apologies.

neon kun