Bound By Blood
Disclaimer: Naruto not mine.
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Chapter 2 Dreams Once Forgotten
Sakura couldn't speak. Her senses were all clouded, except for her sight, and she was currently using it to all its power to gaze at the boy across the room. Did she just hear her mother right?
"Blood-Guard?" she repeated yet again, her voice trembling.
Setsu smiled and nodded, "Yes. He's all yours. Your father and I thought it would be best, now that you're a young lady, to have one. And besides, your father and I won't be around much, and we knew you'd need a servant to take care of you. You seem to not be able to do that yourself lately, Sakura." Setsu explained, her joyous tone making both teenagers in the room wince.
Sakura looked down at the carpet, a guilty expression on her face. But neither the woman nor man noticed, except for the boy. Though standing a few feet from her, he could still see her perfectly, and for some reason, seeing her sad made him feel saddened.
"I see. Then, thank you Mother, Father." the girl said softly.
Setsu didn't seem to notice the girl's saddened expression, and she leaned forward a bit to pat the girl on the cheek.
"You should go up to bed dear, you look tired." the woman said, leading the girl towards the other two occupants in the room. "Takeshi, take Sakura to her room, I'll show the Blood-Guard to his new room,"
Hearing her mother's words, Sakura's eyes widened a bit, and she looked up at her mother.
"M-Mother, wouldn't it be best if he stayed in my room? After all, if he's to be my servant, he should be with me at all times, right?" She asked quickly.
The woman looked down at her daughter, and nodded.
"I suppose it would be all right, there's the extra futon in your closet I believe," Setsu answered.
The boy listened to the mother and daughter speak, his eyes now gazing at the girl cautiously. A few moments ago, he'd thought she almost looked upset that her parents had gotten her a Blood-Guard, and he'd even gone as far to think that she was one of the few who believed it was wrong to have the Blood Bound slaves. But after hearing the way she referred to him with her mother, he realized he'd been foolish to just jump to conclusions like that. She was no different than anyone else. But still, why did he feel the sudden urge to want to be closer to her, when she was this close anyway?
But before he could really think about it, he felt an odd sensation in his hand, and realized he was being led towards the stairwell. Looking down, he saw the pink haired girl had grabbed his hand in her own and was nearly running up the long staircase. He couldn't help but feel an odd sensation in his chest from feeling his hand clutched so tightly in her own pale hand. It seemed so familiar, and so soft.
Once at the top of the stairs, the girl led the boy down a hall to their right, and stopped at the last door in the hallway. She opened it quickly, and pulled him gently inside the room before letting go of his hand to close the door. Not wanting to take his eyes of her as she closed the door, he couldn't help but look around the room.
The walls seemed to be a pale peach color, at least that's what he guessed since the moonlight coming in from the window seemed to give everything a light blue glow. The floor was a dark wood, polished to shine. There was a bed in the corner, and he noticed it wasn't made. The pillows also seemed disarranged, and he noticed that there was a small stuffed animal sitting on one of the pillows. Looking around some more, he noticed that except for a low rise table against one wall of the room, a large bookcase, and a vanity, the room didn't really look like someone lived there all the time. As though the room was a hotel room. There was nothing about it except for the stuffed animal that said the pink haired girl lived in that room.
Turning around quickly, the boy gazed at the girl with curiosity and confusion. She was standing a few feet away from him, and had her hands clasped in front of her with her eyes on the floorboards as though she'd done something wrong. He noticed that when she looked at him, her green eyes looked a bit frightened.
"You know, I never asked them to get me a Blood-Guard. I think it's wrong what people do to them," she stuttered, her dulled emerald eyes burning a hole in the floor.
The boy didn't answer, though he wanted to, but he knew the basic rules. You aren't to talk to your Master or Mistress unless they order you to say something, or if they're asking you a direct question.
"Um," she mumbled, not knowing what to say.
Hoping that he wouldn't get into trouble, the boy decided that he needed to take a chance, and turned to face her fully.
"Haruno-sama, didn't your mother tell you that you should retire for the night?" he asked in his obedient voice he used when speaking with the instructors back at the cells.
When the girl heard him address her, she looked up quickly in surprise.
"Please, don't call me that. You can just call me Sakura," she added, trying to smile gently.
"But, Haruno-sama," the boy replied, confusion in his voice.
Sighing, and walking towards two dark wood doors, Sakura opened one of them, and stepped inside the closet, only to reemerge with a large bundle in her arms. She walked over to her bed, and unrolled the bundle on the floor beside her bed. The Blood-Guard watched curiously as the girl prepared the futon. For some reason, he couldn't take his eyes off her, even though he could barely see her face what with her curtain of long pink hair.
"There, you can sleep here. Sorry that it's not much, but," Sakura mumbled, keeping her eyes away from the boy's.
The boy eyed her for a few moments, still wondering why she wasn't looking at him. It was him who shouldn't be staring at her. Was she disapproving of him? Did she not want him? Or, was she…afraid of him?
"No, it's fine." he replied, his voice deep and soft. "Thank you very much. Is there anything I can do for you, Haruno-sama?" he asked, remembering his place quickly and bowing his head slightly.
"Well, actually…yes, there is one thing you could do for me." Sakura answered, turning and smiling softly at him.
"Anything, Milady." the boy replied, making Sakura wince slightly in embarrassment from the formalities.
"I want you to just call me Sakura. All right?" the girl asked hopefully.
"Sakura…" the boy mumbled quietly. He looked thoughtful for a moment, letting the name glide over his tongue.
Though she didn't show it, when the girl had heard the boy say her name, it'd sent a small shiver down her spine. Something about his voice was so familiar, and for some reason, she felt like her knees were going to melt. The boy standing just an arm's length away was the only person she'd ever met to make her ever feel the way she was feeling now. What was so strange about him?
"Sakura-sama." He said after a moment.
Sakura snapped out of her thoughts, and looked at him with a disappointed smile. But before she let him see it, she let it slip away and she yawned.
"I guess that will have to do." she said quietly, giving him another soft smile.
The boy widened his eyes a bit and looked away, feeling his cheeks growing warm. He'd liked how her name sounded and felt on his tongue, but he had to follow the guidelines he'd so painstakingly memorized over the past four years. He had to make sure that his Sakura-sama understood where she stands over him. Wait…his Sakura-sama?
The boy looked up quickly and glanced towards where Sakura had stood, a very light pink blush on his cheeks. He hadn't just been thinking what he thought, right? He couldn't possibly be thinking about a girl he'd never met before as his, then alone think of a girl who he now belonged to as his. What in the world was going on in his head?
But the boy's eyes then widened some more, and he felt his mind kick him very hard. Mentally of course, but still very hard. Sakura was no longer standing in front of him, and it looked like she wasn't even in the room any longer. She'd just disappeared into thin air while he was off thinking his own thoughts…some Blood-Guard he was.
At that moment, the boy heard a door behind him opening, and he turned quickly to see Sakura stepping out of the room beside the closet door. She was now dressed in a plain, white, long sleeved nightgown. Her hair looked brushed as well, and it fell down to nearly touch her waist.
"Sorry it took so long for me to get ready…" she mumbled, the blush returning to her cheeks. "You're free to use the bathroom if you need to. Or if you need to shower or anything…" she explained quietly, looking down at the floorboards as she spoke.
"No Sakura-sama. I'm fine." he stated, his lips turned up ever so slightly in the corners, in the smallest of smiles she'd ever seen. But it was enough.
"Are you sure? Do you need anything else, is what I mean, um…" the girl added, her blush increasing.
"Please don't worry about me," the boy stated gently, taking a few small steps towards her. "I am the one who should be looking after you. Now, isn't time that you go to bed?" he more stated than suggested.
Sakura stared at him for another second, and blinked once before breaking out of her thoughts and nodding. He stepped out of her way as she walked towards her bed, and sat down on the mattress, sinking slightly. Her Blood-Guard also walked over to the futon, and sat down slowly. Licking her lips nervously, Sakura averted her gaze from the boy and towards the floorboards.
"So," she asked quietly, her voice soft and a bit hesitant. "What do you wish for me to call you by?"
The ebony haired boy gazed at her, perplexed for a moment, before averting his gaze to the floor as well.
"As my Mistress, you are to call me as you wish," he explained, his voice sounding as though he'd read his words from a book.
"Ah, but," Sakura stammered, utterly surprised and confused by his words. "But, I should call you by what you wish to be called. I want to call you by what you wish," the girl said, whispering the last part. "After all, shouldn't a Blood-Guard be allowed even that small freedom, to choose their own name?" Sakura's voice was gentle and sympathetic as she continued, and her voice expressed her sadness and pity.
"What do you wish to call me by then?" the boy asked, turning his gaze back to her empty jade eyes.
Widening her own eyes, Sakura looked up and their two gazes locked once more. Without blinking her eyes or looking away, the girl's gaze softened even more. Though he found it odd, yet still refreshing to not be serving a tyrant, the girl was so submissive and calm, even to one much lower than her rank, that it was as if she was merely a shell of a person. Almost as though her mind was empty, and she couldn't take any attacks from a conflict or else she'd break apart.
"Your name, what was it, before you became a Blood-Guard?" she asked, her voice unwavering.
"…Sasuke," the boy replied after a whole minute of thinking and silence.
His name on his tongue felt so strange after all this time of not using it. The feeling was much like when he'd said his Mistress's name the way she wished him to say it, before he decided to add the sama. Looking back at the girl after looking away to think, he saw curiosity, surprise, shock, and what seemed to be pain swimming in her eyes.
"Sasuke…" she murmured, her eyes clouded as her mind processed the name. "I like it," she stated softly, smiling weakly.
The older boy was curious from her reaction, but knew better than to speak to her again without being directly asked any question. He did have to admit though, when she said his name, he felt a strange and familiar feeling crawl down his spine. It felt good.
Sakura looked away from the boy, and nestled down into the covers and blankets on her bed, sighing silently. As she felt herself become properly situated, and slowly falling into a relaxed and drowsy state, she smiled slightly.
"Good night…" she whispered, loud enough so that she knew he'd be able to hear. "Sasuke…"
Within moments, Sakura was asleep, and Sasuke also tried to situate himself on the futon. It was the most comfortable thing he'd felt in four years, besides the cushions in the carriage at least. But, for some reason, he still felt a bit odd sleeping on a futon instead of crouched in a corner. But he could definitely get used to the futon.
Only, it didn't seem to be that night, because he couldn't sleep at all. It was probably because he'd been sleeping comfortably all day, and now he was just too restless to sleep. Looking up towards the edge of the bed, he saw that Sakura's pale hand was hanging slightly over the edge of the mattress. As he stared up at it, he noticed that there looked to be tiny scars running over her palms and fingers. It was strange, because there were so many, but they looked very old as well. His mind was busy contemplating over what could have created the almost-unnoticeable scars, when the girl's body shifted, and her hand was brought back, away from the edge of the bed.
The boy sat up slightly, just to take a curious look at the girl. What he saw made the corners of his lips turn up into a small smile. The girl was entangled within her bed sheets while her hair was strewn all across the pillow, and in one arm, held protectively against her chest, was the small stuffed animal. The innocent, angelic face of the girl seemed even more so when she was asleep, and he could still find visible traces that made her look completely and utterly submissive and shy.
Sasuke leaned back down on the futon, pulling the two blankets Sakura had given him to use up to his chest. Before he closed his eyes to try and sleep, a single thought passed through his head. Taking a moment to breathe, Sasuke spoke.
"Good night, Sakura-sama…" he whispered.
The river rushed across the stones in its bed, slowly making them smooth over time. Sunlight glimmered off the surface of the water, and dragonflies darted among the tall reeds growing near the banks. The girl sat on an outcrop of the bank, her legs dangling over the edge, and her feet in the water. Beside her sat a boy with short, dark hair, and he was doing the same as she.
The girl looked over to him and smiled, her large eyes sparkling in the sunlight. The boy also looked over and gave her a smaller smile. It wasn't like him to smile much, and he always seemed so sad…but when he was around her, he seemed to always be smiling. Of course, they were never earth-shatteringly large smiles. Just small upturns in the corners of his lips. It still made her feel very special though, to know that she was able to make the distant, foreboding boy smile so warmly.
"Are you hungry yet?" he asked after a moment, looking down at their feet in the water.
She shook her head, and stared down at the water again. Her stomach was actually growling quietly, and the boy chuckled.
"We can go get some lunch in a few minutes, kay?" he asked.
She nodded, a light pink blush on her cheeks.
The two continued to sit on the river bank, slowly moving their feet in the water, and laughing when a dragonfly flew past, brushing a cheek or nose. After another few moments, the boy pulled his feet out of the water, and stood up while stretching his arms. The girl looked up at him, and smiling, he reached out towards her, and she grasped his hand tightly so he could pull her up. When she too was standing, they slipped their sandals back on, and began walking away from the river. But just before they were even twenty feet from the river bank, the girl stopped walking, and glanced over her shoulder. The boy stopped as well, and gave her an inquisitive look.
"What is it?" he asked, his dark eyes wide and curious.
Glancing back at him and smiling, the girl ran back towards the river bank, and kneeled down in a patch of tall grass as she searched through the reeds, looking for something. When she stood again, she discreetly hid something behind her back just as she turned around, and walked back to her companion. Once she reached him, her cheeks became a bit more pink, and she brought out what she had behind her back.
"Here," was all she said, and it was the first word he'd heard from her in the past two days.
Looking down, the boy smiled warmly at the flower held gingerly in her grasp. The petals were a pale yellow, and the boy had noticed right away that it was a tulip. Reaching out slowly, his fingers wrapped delicately around the stem of the flower, and he gently pulled it out of her grasp. With the flower in his left hand, the boy extended his right hand to her, and she looked at it in surprise, and looked up at him. He continued to smile towards her, and she nodded happily.
Reaching forward, the girl grasped the boy's hand, and walked closer to him as they began walking back to the village. Even as the village came in sight, and both knew that the villagers and residents would see them together like that, they didn't separate. In fact, the girl leaned onto the boy's arm, and wrapped her free arm around his as well.
Looking down at the eleven year old, the thirteen year old smiled and sighed silently from content.
"Thank you," he replied back, his left hand gently, and unnoticed by him, tightly squeezing the tulip.
Her eyes flashing open suddenly, Sakura disrupted her breathing pattern as she took in a long breath of air. What…was that? Why was she dreaming about that? The girl's thoughts raced through her head, and she clutched the bed sheets she was hopelessly tangled in tightly. It wasn't that the dream had frightened her…it's just that…it was the first dream she'd had in almost four years. Of course, she'd had nightmares more often than she could count, but those were only flashes that passed through her mind, and awoke her in a cold sweat at three o'clock in the morning.
But…that had definitely been a dream. And, though it had still been a very relaxing and comfortingly warm dream, she couldn't help but panic. Panic over the thought that she'd forgotten something important, and it was on the tip of her tongue…but she just couldn't place it. She couldn't picture it again either…no matter how hard she tried. She tried to imagine the boy's face again, but she kept pulling a blank. There was nothing for her mind's eye to see, nor make. With no subject matter, she had no idea how to recreate that dream.
What she could remember were the feelings she'd felt, and the familiarity from the entire scene, as though she'd been there before. And…that warm feeling she'd felt around that boy who she couldn't remember, it left a warm spot on her chest. It also gave her a weightless feeling, as though she was floating. Only…the longer she lay awake, the more of the feeling began to disappear. When she felt that it'd left her entirely, she found that she was cold…and her body seemed a little numb, and not in a nice way. Sakura could also feel a headache beginning to form inside her skull, the more she panicked and inquired herself about what she'd forgotten. She was aware that she'd forgotten many things…but…she wanted to know what she let slip out of her grasp. This time, at least, she wanted to remember what she'd lost.
Turning her head slightly, the long haired girl noticed that her Sasuke was crouched in a corner of her room, between the large window and wall.
'Wait…' the girl froze. 'My Sasuke!? When did he become MY Sasuke!? Well, technically, he is mine…but not in that way…' the girl said to herself in a daze.
Looking back over towards the boy, the younger girl stared at him for a few moments, gazing at his sleeping face. She'd guessed he'd snuck over there hours ago, before the Sun's dawn began to light the sky. Speaking of which…Green eyes flickered over to the window, and Sakura tried to gaze out the window without moving, just incase she awoke her Blood-Guard. From what she'd learned from her parents' Blood-Guard, they were light sleepers and could wake up quite easily, and the girl didn't want to wake Sasuke from a possibly peaceful slumber.
Instead, the girl closed her eyes again, and sighed as silently as she could, licking her lips absently.
"I can't remember…" she muttered quietly, turning on her side to get herself in a more comfortable position.
She wouldn't be falling asleep again, but she didn't want to get up yet either. It was already dawn, the usual time she awoke anyway. She'd just lie in bed now for a few more hours till her mother knocked on her door.
Sasuke gazed at the still body of Sakura, his eyes having opened again when he heard the bedsprings creak nearly silently when the girl rolled over. He'd also caught her words, and was curious as to know why she said those words with such sadness and remorse. He'd been asleep up until the girl woke up, because he'd had a very strange dream of a distant memory.
Regarding the girl, though, he'd immediately noticed the change in her breathing pattern first off, and had also listened intently while he pretended to be asleep. He guessed she'd just had a strange dream, a nightmare maybe. But then, he'd felt a calm aura fill the room. Why he was able to feel his Mistress's aura so strongly was a mystery to him, but he noticed quite comfortably that he liked the surrounding air. It was calm and warm, leaving a floating feeling in his chest. But then the daze ebbed away, leaving nothing but a barren, cold room.
What puzzled the boy the most was that the girl hadn't tried to go back to sleep. Sure, she'd rolled over, with the seemingly intent to go back to sleep, but he noticed that she seemed wide awake. Not knowing what to think, Sasuke looked out the window again, and out at the peach colored sky. A glowing, golden disk was slowly rising over the mountain tops on the horizon, and he saw three pearl-colored morning doves fly by. The sight was so surreal, he wondered if it truly was real or not. It just seemed too peaceful and perfect, but at the same time, he truly hoped that the surrealistic landscape was in truth a reality.
Leaning his head against the wall again, he merely closed his eyes in an effort to sleep. But, he knew that he couldn't. It would be impossible. Not to mention, his mind was becoming crowded with memories and mental images of that girl…the girl he'd met in Konoha…before he'd left her four years ago. Because of his dream, he kept seeing the images of her smiling face at the riverbank. He kept hearing the sound of their laughs mixing together as dragonflies buzzed past. He kept imagining she was with him even now. Of course, she'd be older by now. But she'd also be more beautiful and graceful than she was at eleven years old. Sighing, Sasuke opened his eyes again, and looked back at the supposedly "sleeping" body of his Lady.
'She's probably forgotten about me by now…' the boy thought to himself sulkily. 'She's probably been with tons of guys as well, and definitely gave up her first kiss. I don't blame her though…' the teen thought to himself grimly. 'She'd never want anything to do with me now…'
His eyes closing tightly, Sasuke tried again to get the images of the girl out of his mind, but she kept resurfacing…and then, he saw her face from the day he left her. The broken look she'd had in her eyes, and the lost expression she had. He guessed that he'd never want to wait for someone for four long years with no contact at all, either. So…he couldn't really place any fault on her. Of course, there was always the sting of thinking that she'd broken the promise they'd so deeply made. But, he still couldn't blame her.
Looking back towards the window, the boy felt his mind slowly begin to grow numb as he simply gazed out at the pale orange clouds in the sky, his mind completely blank for the moment. He didn't notice the small ray of light enter the room when a cloud passed away from the sun, but the beam of gold light fell upon a single red tulip standing in a vase on Sakura's vanity table.
Okay, I know this chapter is not acceptable length-wise for such a long absence, but please forgive me. I was working on Freedom Samurai, when I suddenly got Writer's Block on that, and an idea for this chapter. This chapter is the product of nearly eleven straight hours, excluding three minute bathroom breaks, of me just typing up on the inspiration and idea I got for this part of the chapter. Once I update Freedom Samurai, I'll work on the next chapter to Bound by Blood, and try to make it around 8,000 to 9,000 words to compensate for my lateness. I just wanted to get out this chapter since the idea kinda stopped flowing so smoothly, and the fact that I'm going to watch a Crime show on Court TV with my mom right now, and we haven't watched TV in a long time, so yeah.
I gotta go, I love you all, and I hope you review. And also, don't think that I've been keeping any secrets yet…so if by the end of the chapter you feel I've made too easy of a secret, it's not a secret to you readers…okay, gotta go now!
Love you all! Sam