Bound by Blood
On her 15th birthday, Sakura Haruno was given a Blood-Guard, a personal servant that uses all their power to keep their charge alive and safe. Only her Guard is not only handsome, but also reminds her of a boy she knew, when she was younger…SxS AU.
Disclaimer: No ownership, of Naruto exists with me, therefore I make no profit from it.
Note: Though this is AU, I'll be adding stuff from the anime, along with stuff not in the anime, and stuff in-between.
His eyes were sore, and his hands hurt. His wrists were sore and raw, making the stinging pain from the thick iron cuffs worse. They'd started bleeding only a little while ago, or maybe longer, he didn't have any recollection of the time he'd been stuck in the small, dark cell.
Sighing, he leaned against the cold stone wall, trying to get into a comfortable position. He was tired, cold, hungry, and dirty. Not only that, but his clothes were thin and provided next to no warmth for his freezing body. They were also bloody.
Closing his eyes, he tried to focus on something besides the physical pain, and the hurt of the betrayal. And betrayed by him, of all people. It just made it all worse, that the last person he had would put him through this, this…he couldn't find any words describing what was to happen to him. Even though his eyes were sore, he could still feel the unwanted sting of tears building up. But instead of trying to hold what was left of his pride, he let it all go, letting the tears spill.
It wasn't long till he was able to finally get himself to fall asleep from exhaustion. At least asleep, he could ignore his impending fate and try to remember the times from before. From before he left that small village.
Her eyes were soft, and her smile delicate. He gazed at her thoughtfully, as she held out the long stemmed tulip. He reached out, and accepted the flower, the familiar token of her friendship. Her hand was gentle, and her large smile was the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen. It was still a wonderful miracle that such a bright angel like her would prefer to be in the presence of a tainted mortal such as himself.
"You know, you're the most interesting girl I've ever met on my travels?" he questioned with a smile. They were both leaning against the large trunk of an old elm tree, enjoying the shade the large braches and leaves above provided.
She blushed slightly, and shook her head shyly. He didn't mind that she didn't say so. She was quite conservative of her words, never saying too many at a time. It was as though she sometimes couldn't find them, and would just stumble over them with a cute blush and large eyes.
"Well, you are. I've never met a girl quite like you. You're definitely one in a million." he added the last phrase with a warm smile on his pale lips.
This caused her to avert her gaze, and her cheeks to burn bright pink. She looked even more innocent and cute when she blushed. At that moment, the wind blew by softly, playing with her long hair, and ruffling his short, midnight strands. A leaf, carried by the breeze, landed on the top of her head. He chuckled softly, and reached out to pick it up off her hair. AS his fingertips brushed past her hair to reach the leaf, he felt a softness that not even the down feathers on a baby bird could imitate.
His hand rested on her head for a moment, her eyes watching his, and her cheeks burning. After the moment was over, he pulled the leaf away from her soft tresses, and ruffled her hair. She giggled when she tried to brush it out and he chuckled.
His eyes opened quickly at the sound of a key being put into a lock and turning to unlock a door. He lifted his head from the stone wall tiredly, to try and make out the figures standing in the doorway. There were three, two men and a woman, he was able to make out. The woman stepped into the cell quietly and walked over to him.
When she came close, he pressed himself against the wall, obviously afraid of her and what she might do to him. She froze for a moment, noticing his actions, and then took the last two steps till she stood in front of him. She kneeled down on the cell's stone floor, and reached out with a pale hand, trying to touch his shoulder.
He shied away from her touch slightly, and she tried to smile slightly. He couldn't see her eyes, they were shadowed by the cloak she wore, but he could see the small smile on her lips. It wasn't a smirk, nor a grin. It was barely even a smile. The corners of her lips were turned up just so, making it not a frown, but not a full smile either. He noticed something familiar about it, but also noticed that it seemed, sympathetic.
She reached out again, reaching for his cheek. He tensed his body, and shut his eyes tightly, preparing to be struck. But when he felt a soft hand on his cheek, he opened one eye warily. He didn't notice anything threatening about her, and he guessed that she wasn't planning on hurting him, at the moment.
Withdrawing her hand, she stood, and turned towards the two men.
"I like this one, Takeshi." she stated, as though saying she liked a cat in the pet store.
He didn't recognize the name, and guessed that one of the men was this 'Takeshi' person.
"All right then." one man replied.
He didn't recognize the voice of the man who replied, and knew it had to be Takeshi. With curious eyes, he watched as the other man walked into the cell towards him, and hissed in pain when he was grabbed roughly by the shoulder and brought up to stand on his feet. Standing, he was taller than the woman, and just a bit shorter than the other two men, who were both about the same height.
The man and woman began to walk out of the cell, and waited till the other two had left before following them down the torch lit hall.
Looking around, the bloodied teen gazed at the other cell doors, spaced evenly apart. He could recognize a few voices, sobs, and curses. The sobs coming from one cell he knew was a new girl, only about thirteen maybe, who'd been brought in only a few weeks ago. In another cell, about five away from his, a boy's voice could be heard muttering something, maybe from a book he'd memorized. The teen knew it was a boy only a year older than him who'd been here for about three years.
When they walked into another hallway, the teen looked towards a certain area of cells, expecting to hear the quiet sobs of a certain girl he'd come to know. But as the small group passed by the area of cells, he saw that one of the doors was open, and he couldn't hear any noise from the other two cells beside it. He wondered if the girl was out with one of the instructors.
Coming to a stairwell of stone, the group walked up in silence. Soon enough, they reached the top of the stairs where a set of double doors were located. The man in front of the teen pushed them open, and led them through. They didn't even walk ten feet before the doors could be heard closing. The boy didn't have to turn around to know that the guards posted outside the doors had closed them.
After some more walking, they came out from under a stone overhang, and were blinded by the sun light. The teen stopped for a moment, his eyes severely unaccustomed to the bright light. The man leading them turned and though his cloak shadowed his eyes, the teen knew that stopping them was not a good idea. The man looked as though about to strike him, when the woman stepped forward. The man stopped for a moment, contemplating whether or not to hit the teen, and then turned around again.
The woman turned to the boy, a small smile on her lips. He stared up at her warily, and then turned away to follow the man again. The man and woman followed quickly as well.
Their procession soon led them down a familiar corridor to the teen, and he unconsciously shifted his hands, making the iron cuffs rub against his already raw and bloody wrists. They slowly walked down a marble pathway, old stains from blood having turned the gray marble a burgundy color. They walked under another stone overhang that led into a long, large corridor with thick doors like the cell doors lining the walls. These were spaced out more than the other doors had been.
Sounds were slightly muffled by the doors, but screams and cries of pain still made their way into the corridor. The teen visibly shivered hearing them, and the two adults behind him noticed. One of the doors they were passing opened, and two cloaked figures led a light haired girl out of the room. The teen looked over at her, and felt his blood run cold. The girl was cut and bleeding nearly everywhere, and were she wasn't wounded she was bruised black, blue, and almost every other color. The blood from her wounds was dripping onto the floor in sickening gushes. Hearing other footsteps in the hall made her look up, and she saw the four others walking by. She noticed the teen walking with them, and caught his gaze.
Between their eyes, they exchanged silent words. Her empty gray eyes seemed to be trying to sympathize with him, and try to give him a little reassurance for what both knew would be coming. His obsidian eyes seemed to relay a similar message, only he was trying to tell her to be strong. When they were out of each other's sight, the boy looked forward again. All the others, who like him, had been brought here, tried to be strong for each other, even though death, pain, and a possibly worse fate were all that awaited them once they were locked into a cell. Freedom came at one price: your life. But it came in two different ways. There was death, and there was…
The group came to another set of double doors, but this time, they were opened by the two guards waiting outside the doors. The teen felt a chill run down his spine, he'd seen some others go through this door, and knew what happened inside the next room. He also knew that they never came back. Once those doors closed, you would never return to the cells.
The teen nearly jumped when the doors were closed behind them, and he wondered to himself when they'd walking into the room. He looked around out of morbid curiosity, wondering what would happen next. The first thing he noticed was that the fire that burned in the torches wasn't red, but blue. Before he could get a good look around the room, though, he looked towards the middle of the room, and his eyes widened out of horror and fear.
The center of the room sloped down about fourteen feet into the stone ground and was about thirty feet across, and crude stone steps had been carved into the slope. At the bottom of the depression, there seemed to be a circular outline cut into the rock by water. All around this outline, blue fire burned, forming a wall. From the cut outline, towards the center of the depression, intricate passes were cut, also outlined in blue fire, all leading to a small, stone circle, only about four feet across, dead center of the depression. But kneeling in that circle, the boy could see a very familiar dark haired girl. Cuts had been made down her arms in an intricate style in what he thought to be a type of ancient calligraphy. They bled freely and heavily, staining the stone she kneeled on with her blood. She was holding her cuffed hands tightly to her chest, like she wanted to clutch at her arms instead.
A cloaked figure at the edge of the first wall of blue fire was chanting something in an odd tongue, and he seemed to say something with a lot of force because once the words left his lips, the blue fire flared and faded to a bright, electric blue. The flames around the girl seemed to freeze and become similar to blades, and they lashed out at the kneeling teen. The scream that came from her throat was wretched, and horror sunk into the boy's heart as her body seized and trembled against the unstoppable attacks. Two of the blades lashed out and cut through the iron cuffs around her wrists. The blood that came from her wounds dripped to the stone, and seemed to glimmer slightly.
Soon enough, the blades reverted back into flames, which slowly died down. The boy stared down at the girl, his eyes wide and his breathing erratic and sharp breathes. The blood on the dark haired girl seemed to disappear, except for a thin cut circling her neck, a thin cut circling each arm a bit below the shoulders, and two cuts circling each wrist. The blood coming from them stopped dripping, and the wounds began glowing blue. The text on her arms that was bleeding seemed to shimmer slightly before her skin healed itself, forming pink scar tissue over the text. The glowing wounds turned bright, and then dimmed down till they were only a dark aqua blue. When the glow finally dispersed, it looked as though dark aqua tattoos had been etched into her skin where the circling wounds had been.
Two cloaked figures walked down the steps of the depression, and walked carefully towards the girl. She was trembling, and looked about to collapse. When the two figures reached her, one stooped down and picked her up into their arms. They both then walked back the way they'd come, and the figure holding the girl handed her over to another cloaked figure.
The boy kept his eyes on her, not able to look away. He saw she wasn't unconscious, but she didn't seem to be making any movements to prove she was still alive. He was too occupied with the girl to notice that a cloaked figure was coming towards him. He didn't notice that the figure was in front of him till a hand came out and grabbed his left upper arm roughly. He winced slightly, and looked up at the figure.
The visible lips were painted a dark blue color, and the teen recognized the woman. She was one of the more cruel and rough instructors that no one liked to be in a room alone with. But then the woman turned away and began leading the boy towards the steps. When the teen's foot hit the first step, he felt a surge of fear run through his entire body, and he began trembling again while his stomach tied itself in knots.
But his body, trained to do as it was ordered, still followed behind the woman. It was more out of instilled fear and mandatory obedience that anyone actually obeyed the cruel figures hidden by their cloaks. Soon enough, the two had reached the center stone circle. The woman forced the boy onto his knees, and the teen was horrified to find that once kneeling, moving his body became near impossible.
The woman was gone in moments, and the teen shivered when the other cloaked figure at the foot of the outside circle began chanting. His voice was low, deep, and more unsettling than anything he'd ever heard. It also seemed to echo around him. Soon, the blue flames leapt up around him, but he wasn't so frightened of them since he'd seen them before. No, he wasn't afraid of them, he was afraid of what they would become soon enough.
After a few words left the cloaked man's mouth, the boy gasped aloud, feeling as though the skin on his arms was tearing itself apart. He forcefully turned his head and saw that the same calligraphy that had been in the girl's arms was carving itself onto his own arms. Another few symbols were formed, and the teen dropped biting his tongue and screamed in pure pain.
His whole entire body shook with cold and pain, and it felt as though his insides were being ripped apart. Inside his head, except for the words from the man's chanting, he heard nothing, and only saw blue flames. It felt like his brain was going to explode, and he screamed again, not knowing why he even bothered screaming when it would do nothing. No part of him wished for any sympathy or pity from the figures in the room, because he'd learned within his first few days here almost four years ago that there was to be no sympathy or comfort for those locked in the cells, except for the depressing comfort from the others like him.
After a few moments, the teen recognized familiar words from the man, and widened his eyes, knowing what was to come next.
The blue flames flared, froze, and became the blades from before. Not even able to prepare himself for the incoming attack, the teen tried to scream as the blades cut through the iron cuffs, and then sliced through his flesh. The sensation was a burning, stinging, freezing pain that wouldn't numb away. Blade after blade slashed his body, ripping through the thin tank top he wore, and ripping through his skin. He felt tears sting his eyes as the blades lashed towards his neck, barely even cutting the skin as they circled his throat. More blades cut across his upper arms, and more at his wrists.
One more blade struck out and lashed him diagonally down the middle of his chest, making the blood fly from his wound. Another blade came out and slashed diagonally down the other side of his chest, forming an X across his torso. The man chanted a few more words, and the blades changed back. The flames flickered and then died away. His skin on his arms began to heal over the text, forming the pink scar tissue. His circular cuts began to glow, and like the girl dulled down to form dark aqua blue tattoo marks around his neck, arms and wrists. Only, the wound on his chest also glowed like the circular wounds before dulling to the same shade of blue and looking like a tattoo mark.
The boy knelt there, his body trembling and his head spinning. He felt a powerful ache all over his body that wasn't going away. His gaze seemed to lose focus, get it back, lose it again, and get it back but fuzzier. This continued, till all he could see was a dark blur. He made no attempt to show any signs of recognition as someone picked him up gently. He didn't even register that he'd been touched gently.
He barely felt the passing of hands as he was handed over to the Takeshi guy. The only movement he could must was only to look over at the figure holding the dark haired girl. His eyes rested on the pale, sorrow wrung face of the girl. Her eye lids fluttered, and her pale white eyes opened, her gaze meeting his. Her eyes widened a bit, and her lips parted as though she was about to say something, but then her eyes rolled back and she closed her eyes.
The boy looked away, and up at the stone ceiling of the room. It was too dark to actually see the ceiling, so he guessed it was pretty far up. He then felt his body tense, and then it felt like a system shutdown was flowing through him. His vision blurred, and he felt his mind going foggy.
"I see…so this is what you're feeling, huh Hinata?" he asked himself silently, before slipping off and out.
The tears in her eyes looked so misplaced. Her eyes looked full of hurt and sadness, and she was biting her bottom lip to keep from sobbing. He felt his heart breaking in two at the sight.
The rain was coming down in torrents now, fully soaking them. Her red and white dress clung to her body like a second skin when wet, mimicking her long hair. He could see that she was shaking from the cold, but he knew he could do nothing about it. Tears mixed with rain as both fell to the ground.
"You're…you're leaving…" she stated finally, her voice barely audible against the wind.
He nodded, turning his head but never looking away from her. He couldn't bring himself to look away from her eyes.
"I don't want you…to go…" she said after another few moments. "But…I know you have to…" she added when he opened his mouth as though to say something.
He sealed his lips shut and clenched his hands into fists.
He was trying to figure out what to do next, when she brought her hands out from behind her back. His eyes widened when he saw the dark red flower clutched tightly in her hand. Her eyes seemed to be saying the words she couldn't. "Take it, leave already, and never forget me." He walked towards her, ready to take the flower. when he was close enough, he reached out and grasped the stem, but blinked when he felt thorns prick his skin. He looked down at her hand clutching the rose tightly, and noticed that her hand was scratched terribly and her fingertips even had small drops of blood being drawn by the thorns, and washed away by the rain. Looking closer at the flower, he also realized that it was one of the summer flowers that died in late summer just before Autumn. It was already Autumn, so how could she have possibly found one?
"I…I was looking all over for it yesterday…" she finally found words to say. "I looked all over the forest for it, and I even tried to find it near the edge of the cliffs." Her voice began to crack as she spoke, and she hiccupped. "I had to climb a bit up the cliff edge, till I could finally reach one. But, there were thorns and sharp rocks everywhere, and I hurt my hands pretty bad." she finished, bringing up her other hand to show the scratches and scrapes she'd gotten on that hand as well.
His body shook, and his heart shuddered. He pulled the flower gently from her hand before stepping forward and bringing her into a tight embrace. She gasped quietly when he pressed her against his chest while his arms wrapped securely around her back and waist.
She buried her face in his wet shirt, allowing her sobs to become louder. He didn't sob, but he was crying.
"Promise me something?" she asked quietly.
"Anything." he mumbled, pulling her away a bit so he could look into her eyes.
"Promise me, you won't forget me?!" she demanded, her eyes wide and fearing that he'd say no.
He smiled sadly as tears spilled from his obsidian eyes. "I'll never forget you, Ever." he stated strongly. "You just have to promise me one thing," he added with a small smile.
"W-what?" she asked, willing to do anything for him.
"Promise me, that you'll never forget me." he began, "And that you'll wait till I return before you get your first kiss. From me of course," he added, trying to bring some of his humorous attitude back for her.
A red blush covered her cheeks, and her eyes widened. "You, you want to be my first kiss?" she questioned, her knees shaking.
He nodded, trying to put on a real smile instead of a sad one. "Yes." he replied. 'I want to be a lot of your firsts…' he confessed to himself silently. "So, promise that you'll remember and wait for me?" he asked again.
"Yes, of course!" she answered, not a single note of doubt or falseness in her voice.
"All right," he said, unsure of what to do next.
"But, why don't you just kiss me now?" she asked curiously.
He brought a hand up, and gently stroked her cheek, "Because if I kissed you now, it would only be full of sadness and goodbyes. It would leave us empty. I want to kiss you when I come back, so that it will mean so much more, to the both of us. All right?" he asked, trying to brush a lock of hair away from her face.
She nodded. She understood, and she felt more tears coming.
"I'll see you again, I promise." he stated with a smile before brushing his lips against her forehead.
He then turned and ran through the rain towards the horse waiting for him, the rose still clutched tightly in his hand. Another horse, accompanied by a rider, stood not too far away from the boy. The rider watched him lift himself onto the animal's back before they both turned to walk down the road. Just as the other rider cracked the reins on his horse's back, both of them began galloping forward. The boy turned slightly, to watch the small figure on the road disappear slowly from sight.
When he opened his eyes, he didn't have the amnesia moment where he didn't know where he was or why he wasn't back in his cell. Sure, he didn't know exactly where he was, but he did remember the ritual he'd gone through, and everything up to that point. What he didn't recognize was the ceiling above him.
A cool hand was pressed to his forehead, and he looked to the side a bit, confused to see the seemingly kind face of a woman staring down at him. And for once, her eyes weren't shadowed by a cloak, nor did it look like she was wearing one.
She looked to be wearing a long sleeved violet shirt, with white around the collar and the bottoms of the sleeves. Her hair was long and straight, and a strawberry blonde. Her eyes were also a dark green, almost black. Her lips curved up into a smile, and he was even more confused.
"I'm glad you're awake." she said.
Her voice was familiar, and he relaxed some, realizing she was the woman that had picked him out.
"So, are you and the man who I am to serve?" he questioned, using words exactly as he'd been taught.
The woman chuckled, and sat back as the carriage jumbled a bit. The teen looked surprised for a moment, not realizing they were sitting in a carriage. The horses outside made a few noises as the crack of the reins was heard.
"No. You will not be serving my husband and I. You're a gift actually," the woman stated.
The boy felt his eyes widen as his heart skipped a beat. Not only was it degrading that he was now an officially useable Blood-Guard, but he was going to be handed off as a gift? He knew from the lessons he and the other Blood-Guards had underwent that he was in no position to inquire about himself unless it was about a task of some sort. Even then though, speaking with those "above" his position was usually forbidden.
Instead, he laid his head back down on the seat cushion he'd been sleeping, if you could call it that, on. Of course, it was a hundred times better than sleeping on a cold stone floor. He shifted his body slightly, and noticed two things. One, he didn't feel any pain from his previous wounds and injuries. Two, he was wearing different, comfortable clothing.
But instead of actually paying any attention to it, he decided he'd try to get as much sleep as he could in a quiet, comfortable place before he was handed off to who knows where and who.
Ah, first chapter, well, prologue, and I'm all jittery. I was actually typing the first chapter when I decided that I wanted a prologue, so the first chapter is already a quarter of the way done, heh. Well, I hope you liked my prologue, and it'd be super awesome if you wonderful readers would review too!