Since I am almost done with Silent Angel, I thought I'd start another story. Please note that not all of this is an author note, or explanations, the actual story does start here. However, since this is an A.U. story, and it is rather complicated, it is very important that you read the entire explanation of terms, characters, locations, etc. if you don't, you may be confused by a lot of what's going on. Also, I don't want to hear any complaints about who is stronger than whom in the series, because those rules don't apply here. Hinata is, once again, going to be mute in this story, but the similarities between my stories stop there. In fact, you guys will probably hate Gaara for a while in this story.
Notes on basic terms.
Unless otherwise noted in the story or here, everyone is a regular, run of the mill human, with human strengths and weaknesses. Tsunade, for example doesn't have her superhuman strength, and doesn't have the ability to spontaneously heal her wounds.
Demons: powerful beings that, depending on their type, have the ability to live forever. However, due to their violent lifestyles, they rarely live beyond a few thousand years. Pure-bred demons are rare, but humans will call any being that has demon blood in them a demon.
Vampiric demons: the most powerful demon species, they have extra supernatural and magical abilities in addition to the powers that a typical demon possesses. While there are hybrids of this species in existence, there are only two pure-bred demons of this type left in existence, due to one of the survivors slaughtering the rest of his species.
Beast demons: demons who can transform into large animals, or other creatures. While they are not as powerful as their vampire cousins, they are far more common, and their types range from mammals to reptiles, fish, birds, and even some are not entirely animal. They are responsible for the hybrids known as the weres, and examples include werewolves, werecats, etc.
Hybrids: the offspring of humans and demons. Sometimes, they may be a second or a third generation, and may be more demon than human, or more human than demon. Regardless of how much of them is demon, they are always referred to as hybrids.
Chosen: some demons have a human who is meant to be their mate. The human can be born long after the demon is, but most will recognize their chosen. Any offspring that they bear will not be a hybrid; they will be full demon. The chosen go by a variety of names, and are known among humans as the wretched, the cursed, etc, mostly because they are not always treated kindly by their demon mates.
Emperor: the title of the lord of the demons. They usually take control of the empire by force, and as such are the most powerful demon there is.
Suna: a vast desert realm that is home to the demons. The capitol is also called Suna, or sometimes Suna Main, and is the emperor's home. All demons are more or less free to roam between the demon and human realms, unless they have run afoul the emperor; then he hunts them down relentlessly and slaughters anyone in his way. They are not, however, allowed to meddle in the affairs of humans very much, as it always leads to trouble. The only exceptions are killing off people who call themselves demon slayers, securing a chosen, or hunting them for food.
Konoha: the largest country in the land of mortals. It is generally peaceful, until recently. The Emperor has tracked down a traitor who was hiding their, and has threatened the village for harboring a fugitive. In order to appease him, the elders presented him with a variety of maidens, and he was to have his choice.
Shukaku: one of the last vampiric demons, and the father of Gaara. His mate was killed, and not long after getting his son he resigned from the title of emperor, passing it on to his son. He is now more reminiscent of a sad old man, and frequently becomes lost in his memories. At the ripe old age of 100,000 years, he has earned the right to a relatively peaceful life. He usually acts as an advisor to his son.
Gaara: the second remaining vampiric demon, he is the 70,000 year old emperor, after killing off his rivals, most of which were his own species. He is a ruthless dictator, killing off any and all who oppose him and feeding off of their blood. For some reason, he has a deep and abiding hatred of humans, and delights in killing and torturing them. Not even his chosen is spared from his behavior. As stubborn as he is savage, it may be impossible to change his mind about them
Kisame: a hybrid that lives on Suna's coastline, he is an elite member of the imperial guard, but makes most of his living by fishing and as a bounty-hunter for Gaara. He is generally easy-going, but he does love a good fight, and will gladly enter a barroom brawl just to get an excuse to bash some heads.
Kyuubi: a fox demon that is close friends with Shukaku. At 50,000 years old, it is odd for Gaara to think of him as his uncle, but such is their relationship. He likes women of all species, and is also one of Gaara's advisors.
Naruto: the hybrid son of Kyuubi, who looks after him since his mother wanted nothing to do with him. A prankster with an immature sense of humor. However, his love of brawling rivals that of Kisame.
Orochimaru: an ancient snake demon. Likes to experiment.
Anko: the hybrid daughter of Orochimaru. Had a fling with Gaara for a while, but he eventually grew bored with her, and she wanted a more affectionate partner. The parting was amicable enough, but she is still a bit miffed at his rather callous and uncaring attitude.
Zetsu: the last of a dying breed of beast demons that look more like plants. He is a master gardener, and prefers to stay well away from politics, instead spending his time at the palace caring for the large gardens. At 30,000 years old, he is considered an ancient, and can be very antisocial and cranky.
Sasori: Deidara's partner in crime. A scorpion demon who tried to kill Gaara and takeover as emperor. He was killed in the fight, however.
Deidara: a demon that tried and failed in his attempt to overthrow Gaara. After watching his partner die, he realized he was outclassed and fled to the mortal kingdom of Konoha. He has managed to make some sort of deal with the Hyuuga clan, and is currently hiding in their household while his injuries heal.
The Akatasuki: an elite group of demon-slayers. However, they have only managedto kill half demons, and are not a match for a pure-blooded demon, as Gaara painfully reminded them after a nasty run-in during which he slaughtered half of their members.
The Hyuuga Clan: a clan of samurais and one of two warrior clans in Konoha. On the outside they are a noble family that will sacrifice anything for the sake of Konoha, but behind closed doors they are a rotten bunch of power hungry fiends that will stop at nothing to gain control of Konoha.
Hiashi: the patriarch of the Hyuuga clan and father of two daughters. For no apparent reason he hates the eldest and torments her relentlessly. He intends to sell her as a bride, but, due to his greed, he has yet to receive the price he wants.
Hizashi: twin brother to Hiashi, and was killed in combat long ago. He has one child, his son Neji.
Neji: adopted by his uncle Hiashi, he is training in the warrior arts and noble practices. He also relentlessly bullies Hinata.
Hanabi: Hinata's younger sister and Hiashi's favorite. A selfish brat that delights in getting Hinata into trouble. Gaara is the first person to ever strike her, which is something that should have been done long ago.
Hinata: Hiashi's eldest daughter. She no longer talks, due to her father's great hatred of her voice. Even when in great pain, she won't make a sound due to the fear instilled in her. She has no physical scars because Hiashi is careful not to break the skin when he beats her. Despite her suffering, she is a kind, gentle girl, but also suspicious, and she instinctively shies away from physical contact.
The Uchiha Clan: another warrior clan in Konoha. Unlike the Hyuuga clan, they are honorable and are often used as envoys or ambassadors to other countries.
Itachi: heir to the Uchiha clan. It was he who was able to buy time from Gaara in order to give the elders a chance to come up with something to appease him. Although he won't admit it out loud, he is a bit miffed at Gaara for referring to him as "boy," mainly because Gaara's appearance is so much younger than his.
Sasuke: Itachi's younger brother. Arrogant, but is taught a lesson in humility by Gaara.
Temari: a feisty young woman who works in a tea shop.
Kankuro: Temari's little brother. Works in the same shop.
Sakura: a woman who works in the red light district. Can be catty and vindictive.
Ino: works with Sakura. During the day she sells flowers in the market. Can be petty when she doesn't get what she wants.
Tenten: works as a guard, and is skillful with shurikan, kunai, and staff-fighting.
Rock Lee: Tenten's partner, and is very skilled in hand-to-hand combat. This guard is energetic and highly competitive. No one is really sure if he is Guy's relation or not.
Guy: one of the officers in the guards. He is very skilled in hand-to-hand combat. Can be very dramatic and emotional.
Kakashi: another officer in the Konoha Guard. Well known for his easy going nature and love of reading. He is very skilled at sword fighting and hand-to-hand combat.
Tsunade: a healer in Konoha and a member of the council of elders.
Jiraiya: a member of the council in Konoha. He likes the ladies a bit more than is good for him.
Sarutobi: the leader of Konoha.
Karura: Shukaku's deceased mate, and Gaara's mother.
Any other places, terms, or characters that are introduced will be explained at the beginning or end of that chapter. Again, Gaara will be a sadistic asshole for a while, but he has a reason. Please bear with me, okay? Thanks.
Chapter One: There Are Fates Worse Than Death
He was a bloody mess, and still unsatisfied. The treacherous scorpion was dead at his feet, and drained of most of his blood as well. Sasori's heart had been ripped out, and Gaara had found it delicious. That blasted Deidara had fled after his companion fell, leaving both of their Chosen at his mercy. What fools, didn't they realize by now that Gaara has no compassion? That he would simply toy with the pathetic girls until he got bored and decided to kill them? Unless, of course, if his father was hungry, then he got first pick.
Gaara stretched his great black, bat-like wings. He was proud of his velvety wings that could carry him wherever he pleased. His twenty-foot wingspan was also an easy way to intimidate any foolish humans who were in his path. He flexed his wings once more; then folded them neatly, turning towards the girls. One was a brunette, with brownish eyes; the other was a red head with grey eyes. Ha, that was funny, red head indeed. No, his hair was the true crimson of blood, not this pathetic human's. Her hair color was more reminiscent of a carrot, and ridiculously short. A good woman had hair of a descent length, at least in Gaara's opinion. His cold gaze brushed over them both, and he found them to be nothing special. A little boring, really, he had bedded and fed off of lovelier females.
Well, if he wanted things to be interesting, he could always chase after Deidara, that treasonous little worm. And he would, in due time. Gaara's rage had not dimmed in the slightest, and he would have his vengeance, but he also wanted to inflict the maximum damage on his would-be foe. Let the weakling stew for a bit in his own terror, Gaara wanted to have a little fun first.
The girls whimpered and drew away from him, clutching at each other and whining pathetically. He was joined by his golden-eyed father, Shukaku. His chocolate wings rustled in the darkness, and he nudged the body aside. Untidy hair was shared by both, but Shukaku's was an interesting mix of gold and black. Where Gaara was garbed in black, his father was wearing tan and white, with a black cloak. He looked at his son with a mixture of annoyance and amusement.
"Always inside, never outside and always messy. Must you insist on tearing up the palace when you fight? I don't see why you can't at least toss your opponents outside, the cleanup would be easier."
"Oh, stop your grumbling, old man, I even brought you dinner, see?"
"Technically you didn't bring me anything, your enemies did. Where's the other one?"
"Deidara fled like the cowardly worm that he is, and left both Chosen here. To the victor go the spoils, now pick one already. Isn't it enough that I'm sharing with you? I could have just taken both, you know."
"Oh, yes, I know. Your appetite has always been healthy. I'm not surprised that Sasori's blood wasn't enough to satisfy you, I was the one who had to hunt for you when you were young, remember?"
"Yes, I remember. Now then, old man, which one is it? Not that it matters, the rodents all taste the same."
"The brown one, I think. When do you plan on killing the other one?"
"Soon, perhaps I will begin the hunt tomorrow. It would make things more interesting."
"There is the chance that he will flee to the human realms, you know."
"If he makes me sort through those cockroaches, then he'll be begging for death by the time that I'm through with him." Gaara yanked the carrot-headed girl to her feet, wrenched her head back and sank his fangs viciously into her throat. Somewhere out in the darkness, Deidara heard the death-cry of his mate.
Hiashi was unaware of the demon until he almost tripped over him. The blasted fog was at fault, really, so thick that one could not see ten feet in front of them. Yet, despite this, the grievous wounds on the creature were obvious. The fact that the demon was still alive was a surprise.
"Who-oh, you're just a human. What do you want, un?" the creature coughed, spitting up some blood.
"Will you recover from such wounds?"
"Given time and adequate care. The emperor, he was stronger than I imagined, un. But it is unlikely that he will find me here, un. He despises you humans, although I don't see why. I find you creatures fascinating and delightful." 'Particularly the females in the bedchamber.'
"If I help you, what will you give me in return?"
"Ah, there's the true reason. How about this: when I am strong again, I will cast down your enemies and make you ruler of this land, un? This is your desire, is it not? I can see it in your eyes, un."
"Agreed. I will carry you to my clan's manor. We will tend to your wounds there."
Deidara hid a smile. The corrupt humans were a wonderful bunch, weren't they? Always willing to do anything for power, including catering to a demon's every whim. All he needed to do was make sure that they didn't spill his location or his existence to anyone else.
The night was gloomy and wet. The fog was one of those that seemed to seep into your bones and you could hardly breathe the cold, damp air. What was worse was the fact that even after you had been inside for hours you were still shivering. At least, that was Hinata's opinion, not that anyone cared. She knew that they would feel the same about her thoughts of their "guest." He gave her a bad feeling, and she felt that only ill would come of his presence here. It wasn't that she felt no compassion for him; in fact his wounds tore at her heart, even if he held nothing but disdain for her. It was just that nothing good ever came from interfering in the affairs of demons; especially when it came to demon fights. They should've let him heal, and then sent him on his way, as quietly as possible.
But no, her father just had to find a way to work this situation to his advantage. He couldn't just leave well enough alone. He thought that he could get away with this little scheme, and wrest the power from the council of elders. He thought it would all be so easy, just as that arrogant demon promised him.
Yes, that demon was making many promises, and he made them so believable. When he was healed, all would kneel before him, and her father, Lord Hiashi Hyuuga, and his noble family would share the wealth with him. He would make invincible and all-powerful, the new leaders of the human world. A new empire, he said, one that would rival that of the demon empire. He was always so confident in this, and they believed him, drinking in every word like the finest wine, and becoming drunk with the visions that they portrayed.
But they didn't hear him at night, when he slept. They didn't hear him cry out, and plead for mercy from some nameless foe. They didn't hear him scream. But she did, and she knew, how she had no insight, but she knew that his foe was hunting him down, and would inevitably find him here. They were fools, and when she tried to make them see, they mocked her.
Tonight, she had tried again, and her father had been angry, so angry that he had taken up the cane, and had struck her across her ribs with it. Even now, as she fled into the gloomy night that things were going to change. That Deidara's part in her life, which had began on a gloomy night, was about to end on this gloomy night. But her horror had only just begun.
She tripped over the first of the bodies, which was actually just a dismembered torso, and still warm and fresh. The blood spattered allover her coat, on her arms, legs and face even. She froze in horror and revulsion. now she could see them, and-and-and…
She retched, but nothing came out. There was so many of them and so much blood. But worst of all were the eyes, those staring, horrified eyes. Everywhere she looked they were staring at her, and there was no where to run.
There was something worse though, she could feel it. She didn't hear anything, or see them, it, whatever it was, but she could feel it and it was so unbearably close. She turned and ran back the way she came, very much aware that she was being watched by cold, cruel green eyes.
"Why Gaara, you haven't gone soft, have you? You never let them go like that, my son." The emperor smirked slightly.
"That little mouse will alert the entire village, I'm sure, and besides, she's so small, not really worth the effort. Unless, of course, you want her, Father," he looked at him from the corner of his eye. Shukaku chuckled softly.
"Not really, let's just find your little traitor so you can be rid of him. At least, that was what you were going on about earlier, before these twits decided to play at being demon-slayers. What did they call themselves, the Akatasuki?"
"Yes, the rest ran away, and they are fortunate that I don't feel like chasing after them. Fools." He spread his midnight wings and silently flew over the village that seemed to be sleeping so peacefully. He smirked again, and licked his lips in anticipation. That wouldn't last long.
It was true; the village awoke to horrific screams as the two demons battled it out. The other, a being with dark brown wings, hung back, and seemed to enjoy the show. The one with the black wings, however, he was terrifying. What at first seemed like a great battle was in reality nothing but a twisted game. They watched the redhead mercilessly inflict agonizing wounds on his victim, all the while chuckling darkly in amusement. Eventually, however, he grew bored, and simply sank his claws into his chest, and ripped out the other's still-beating heart. They watched in revulsion as he devoured it; then turned towards his spectators.
"You humans should no better than to mingle in the affairs of demons. Have you any last words?" his dark voice slid into their ears, making them shudder, and more than a few lose control of their bowels. The emperor gave a long, slow blink as a man approached him, and knelt before him.
"My lord, please allow me to explain-"
"Explain what, boy?" the man flushed a bit, embarrassed.
"My name is Itachi Uchiha, and I-"
"I don't care about your name, boy, and you are most certainly not going to get a burial after I'm through. There will be no one left to bury you. Your introduction is pointless, worm." Gaara crossed his arms and glared at him. Such stupid creatures really, and a waste of time.
Patience, my son, I think they intend to bribe you.
Bribe me with what? A few trinkets? What need do I have of baubles? Useless rodents, they should have thought of the consequences of their actions before they took in a traitor!
Give the boy a chance to explain, there is truth in his eyes. Besides, he is brave, to address you directly without blubbering like the others.
Mm, yes, that is true. Besides, it may be amusing.
"My lord, please, the village had no idea of your foe's presence, if we had, we would've never sided with him! Please, we want to make this right with you! Our council wants to give you an offering, in exchange for our safety. We just need time to prepare it! Please, my lord."
"I don't know what you think to give me that I can't get for myself, but you have amused me. you have one hour, and that is all. For your sakes, I hope it is worth the wait, boy." The last words were obviously a dismissal, and Itachi had to rush to council. He knew what the offering was, and the maiden that was to be chosen was not to be envied.
There were things far worse than death, after all.