Not really much to say except that I'm borrowing the characters and the basic Naruto universe from Masashi Kishimoto, but with a few timeline alterations and a different place where Sasori does in fact live after the battle with Chiyo and Sakura.
He wasn't dead, even though he should be.
He wasn't dead, even though he much rather would be, even though he by all natural causes should be. But he wasn't. Chiyo-baa san had left him alive, whether it was by mistake or the loss of will to kill her grandson, he didn't know. But she'd left him alive. He was still breathing, albeit shallowly and slowly, and he could still twitch his fingers.
They'd left him on these battlegrounds to die, amongst the rocks. Left him there for animals to carry away his internal organs; synthetic skin to crack and dry, wooden limbs to rot without their protection. Between the puppets that were his parents, every time he breathed in or out, he felt the blades. Clean, sharp and deadly, they still failed giving him a desirably quick death. The sun over him was dying slowly, casting dark oranges and smears of light red across the once barren, clear sky.
Blood welled from his lips and down his chin, throat to the ground as time slowly eclipsed into a stand-still, where he not so patiently awaited his death. Time melded together to create a slowly passing death; like thick sap over rough bark, dripping so slowly.
Sasori blinked once or twice in the next few minutes, wondering why it was taking him so long to die. He could still breathe. His fingers were cold, but could still move. His heart was still pumping. He waited for the grim reaper, or blank blackness, or fire, or demons or angels. He looked up and squinted, waiting for an entity of some sort. The sun hurt his eyes and warmed his face.
Time passed with the speed of an irregularly slow and wounded slug. Pain rose and fell in soft no singular pattern of waves. He waited.
The blood dried. The sun went down completely. He was cold. But he could still breathe, his heart was still beating, and he was still in vague pain.
His vision went fuzzy, like a ripple in water and things started to blur out. His senses dulled and began to go limp, dead. Am I finally dying? Even still, he was not afraid of death but rather the wait for either this life or the next, if there was indeed a next. Sasori hated being bored or exasperated. Perhaps the worry for no amusement or lack of to-do list would only be in this life, for there was no entity of any sort, or special light for the next life as so many religions preached on about.
Sasori would have scoffed if he could.
The soft crunch of gravel underfoot well trained feet caught his attention and his failing senses snapped awake as if from only a light daze instead of looming death. A soft gasp that could not be contained out of sheer surprise was heard and Sasori's eyes roamed in his head, not seeing this unseen specter of feet and voice.
The crunch of gravel sounded closer now, approaching in a hurry without worrying of small stumbles and unbalanced slipping down the steep decline of the rock face. His vision was going again and he blinked rapidly, urging it away. His eyes locked on a pale figure clad in an armor of a thick lavender jacket and blue pants that stopped above pale, pale ankles. His eyes traveled up to try and see a face, but the lack of light made it difficult. He only saw pale, pale skin and dark hair swept into short strands.
A dull roar resounded in his ears, pulsing with the blood still flowing slowly in his veins and his vision tunneled. At the edges of his fading sight, crisp, whiteness greeted him. Sasori felt his heart slow. He felt the world collapse into itself and rebuild from its ashes. He felt at ease, for some strange reason and he wondered, while the figure came closer, hair twisting in the wind, if this was what the prelude to death felt like. Maybe it felt similar to rebirth.
He watched as the face of the unknown person came closer until he could make out some vague features, a nose, lips, ears and eyes the color of snow in a morning sun. No one he knew had eyes the color of snow, a tinge of odd colors swirling in and out like oil in water. Maybe this was a specter of death that had happened upon him. Maybe there was a next life to worry about. Maybe this was a grim reaper, or a demon, or an angel or something from the next dimension come to take him far from here.
The world ended again, but didn't reconstruct itself. His vision flickered out like a bad light and he exhaled softly.
The body knows it is alive. The mind flutters in and out of consciousness and doesn't know what to believe; logic or instinct. The soul resonates in different waves, seeking something it doesn't comprehend or understand, but it searches.
Pain flaring up like a snake bite burning made Sasori's eyes snap open and contain a hiss of discomfort out of instinct taught to him for years, years and years. He was still alive. His heart was beating, stronger than it had been before. He was breathing deeper. He could move his neck and fingers.
He relaxed, seeing that his top half had been uncovered, stripped of clothing and bandages were wound carefully around him. The scent of old blood was suffocating. He could smell woodchips and burning smoke. His eyes could see the outline of a fire flickering and burning strongly. He moved his neck as much as it would allow him to, to observe his surroundings. He was in a cave with small stalagmites hanging over, water dripping down them steadily and roots hanging like ornaments from the high ceiling.
Next to him was a leather canteen of water, anpan cut in halves and a small bento. His cloak and shirt were nowhere to be seen and he was completely open to torture, or further wounds. There was at first, shock that he could open his eyes like a living person could, followed by confusion as to who would be around to keep him alive. Then, the last one that remained was frosty irritation that he was alive, still in pain and was probably hovering between life and death.
Sasori grit his teeth in response to the annoyance he felt and looked around for the idiot who get their fingernails plucked out, back flayed open and muscles melted from the inside with a special poison. Gratitude took a backseat to frustration and icy, murderous rage as he'd been willing and waiting to die. He couldn't see anyone so he closed his eyes and waited.
He could hear his heart beat strongly. He could hear his breath flow in and out. He heard the tiny, dull rumble of his muscles and blood.
Moments passed and Sasori waited before he hear the soft pad of sandal clad feet approaching and soft breathing, so quiet that he had to strain to hear it. He waited, feeling the transparent presence come closer.
His eyes snapped open at the right moment and he stared with blank eyes at this person. Female, pale, pale skin and dark hair. Eyes the same shade as snow in the morning. She had small hands; she'd been carrying his aforementioned missing clothes and a small hexagonal jar that smelled strongly of soothing herb cream. "A-ah you're a-a-awake, ji-san," her eyes lowered from his face to the floor as she crouched beside him.
The jar was placed next to his head and she fiddled with the hem of his folded shirt. His cloak was folded neatly, pressed well. They were smoothed out next to him as well.
"Y-You were a-ah um in-injured s-so I ah…" he stared silently. Her speech manner was acceptable, higher class than simple slang but she looked timid so her stuttering was not out of stupidity. A notable quality. Few people these days were hardly worth a word, for all their incessant babbling.
"You often take care of people you can't even bear to look at?" frosted snappiness reared its head and bared teeth at this slip of a waif who dared keep him alive when he'd nearly, nearly died. He'd felt peace for all of five passing seconds before it was swamped with pain, discomfort and thoughts of a living, highly intelligent and logic driven person with basic immortality.
She wet her lips. She bit her bottom lip, "I-I um…just don't…"
Sasori waited. By nature, he was not a patient person, but if this little bobble headed creature proved to have some intellect beneath those uncomfortable stutters and an obvious case of jitters, maybe he could be a tad more patient. Maybe he could forgive her for bringing back to life. Maybe thoughts of continuing to live a bored, jaded life would sink away for a little bit.
"There are um…u-u-unnatural ch-changes to your….body and I-I don't want to h-have sympathy…" her voice grew smaller, but with less stutters.
She didn't wish to give sympathy; perhaps she was a naturally sympathetic person but didn't want to be. Sasori lowered his voice as well, as though they were conspiring against an enemy, "Do you receive unwanted sympathy and attention?"
She bit her lip and twisted her hands in her lap. "I-If I'm u-uncomfortable with it, then I imagine others would be a-as well."
Hm. Frosty annoyance went down a notch; had she been even the slightest bit stupider, he really would have lopped her head off once he could move. She was given a temporary pardon. For now.
There was a silence then, because Sasori was beginning to feel weary, and the chance that he may die in his sleep was tempting. She spoke then, softer than before, "Are you hungry?"
He cracked one eye open to look at her impatiently, "No."
"No." Sasori was no longer feeling generous, but like an animal trying to sleep in a cage only to be poked in the side with a stick. She sat back and watched him carefully, cautiously. He got the feeling that she was now waiting for him to fall asleep. A small character study showed that she wouldn't kill him in his sleep, and when she took so much trouble to drag his unconscious body into the cave and nurse him.
She waited for him to fall asleep, probably to change his bandages or rub in the strong scented soothing cream. He exhaled and relaxed. There was no peace, like there had been in death – an odd twisting spiral feeling of floating down a calm river, leaning into a soft, clean smelling breeze with quiet tranquility. There was mild relaxation of sleep, sagging limbs, heartbeat slowing and the dull drumming of blood pumping creating a self serving lullaby. His eye slid closed.
His mind added on thoughts of logic and reason, wanting to not be bored, but his body was exhausted and didn't heed thoughts of anything but sleep. His soul remained wandering.
Specks of light invaded his dreams, chasing away colors and solid forms, dunes of sand whisked away and the pseudo sun fell at the sight of the real one rising like a god on the horizon of his mind's eye. Warmth swamped him and it made the blood beneath his bandages itch his skin.
His eyes fluttered and they opened slowly, creaking open like a door with rusted hinges. His throat felt two sizes too small or perhaps swollen two sizes too big, but he was parched either way. He couldn't lift his arm. The girl was slouched against the opposite wall, still asleep though her eyes moved rapidly beneath her lids.
She was coming into the realm of consciousness.
Sasori waited, still and silent because he was not one to yell someone awake, or simply wake them with a barking command (the exception being Deidara). She made a noise in the back of her throat and her body coiled back on itself before her arms stretched over her head. Her eyes opened in an alert snap and Sasori watched with the attentiveness of an experimenting scientist. Veins crawled from her temples to her eyes, bulging and grotesque but nonetheless intriguing.
"Sleep well?" his question sounded lilting and the girl blushed a bit, realizing she'd been caught sleeping.
"Mm." She looked at him then watched as he watched the water canteen with intensity.
"I can't move my arms. Do you mind giving me a bit of water?" it sounded almost sincere but for the purposeful sneer in it to grab her attention.
"Ah! I'm s-sorry," she scuttled to him and kneeled beside his head, twisting the canteen's top open. She paused. "Um…I-I'm going to have to…p-put your head on m-my l-l-lap, so you don't ch-choke…"
Sasori watched her with half lidded eyes, observing her with a reptilian concern. She was unbearably predictable. He was placed on her lap, elevated so she could pour the water in, tipping the canteen steadily. As he drank, he knew that once he could move again, he would dig out her eyes and snip off the tip of her tongue with a dull blade.
She tipped the canteen too much and he choked. She flushed red in under a few seconds and stuttered out a hundred different apologies while she wiped the excess water off his chin and throat.
He was definitely going to slice her eyes out of her head, seeing as she couldn't even use them properly.
End chapter one
Next time, introductions are made, Hinata speaks softly and Sasori is finally feeling generous