The Wrath of a Woman Scorned
Rated M for: language, violence, adult situations and concepts, lemons, and graphic imagery
[Insert disclaimer here]
A moonless night, all is quiet and the world sleeps…
All is thrown into shadow…
An alley, bricken walls casting a pall over the path they border…
A crumpled figure lying broken on the path, hidden beneath the stony walls…
So much darkness…
Quiet breaths coming in hissing pants like the death rattles of a wounded animal…
Darkness and pain…
A barely coherent groan of agony…
So much pain…
The sound of something steadily dripping to the ground…
A splashing, like the sound of something moving in a puddle…
So much blood…
Angry tears, falling freely past snarling lips until none are left to shed…
A primal cry of unadulterated rage, screaming its wrath to the cloudless heavens…
So much hate…
Truly death, in most any form, is a tragedy…
Chapter 1: Aki
It was a day much like any other day as the newly graduated Gennin made their way back to the Academy for their Gennin Orientation. Soon, though they didn't know it yet, these aspiring shinobi would be divided into three man cells where their assigned jounin sensei would then test them again to see if they were truly ready to enter the world they were being trained for. Some would inevitably fail. Some would be sent back to the academy for more preparation. Still others would be dropped from the ninja program all together. But a select few would pass their sensei's test, becoming fully fledged Gennin of the Village Hidden in the Leaves.
But among these students gathering in their old classroom, for what most of them believed would be the last time, there was one that none had expected to see.
The ever enigmatic and mysterious "dead last" of the class had, once again, failed the exam and yet here she was, sitting a few rows from the front wearing her usual dark orange jacket with white stripes on the shoulders over her usual armored black body-glove, a pair of white close toed combat sandals, a hitai-ate situated just above her stormy blue eyes, and her blood red hair pulled back into a ponytail. And, like so many things about Aki, nobody could understand it. How had she passed? Everybody wanted to know. There was something of a problem in that there was nobody that was brave (or stupid) enough to ask.
You see while Aki was last in the class standings in nearly every suject, there was little doubt in anyone's mind that it was in name only. For those less observant, she was the girl with a predatory disposition (the sharp canines and whisker-like marks on her cheeks lent her a certain feral quality) and sometimes vicious pranking skills who sent five pre-grad bullies to the hospital in broken heaps after they had the bright idea to pick on the new girl. For the more observant, one would notice that whenever she bothered to complete a task given by the instructors she received top marks. These same people would often notice that said instructors seemed to be wary of her. In any case, observant or not, all agreed that Aki was not someone to be trifled with, if for no other reason than she was an unknown quantity.
Her err of mystery was another aspect of the girl that made many uneasy. There was nobody who knew much of anything about her. Not where she lived. Not who her parents were or if she even had any (though the general belief was that she was an orphan). No one dared to ask her likes or dislikes or how she supported herself. And, perhaps most importantly, no one had any idea what she was capable of. Of course, most of the students had seen her spar once in a long while when one of the instructors would call her up during taijutsu class. When asked, her opponents would say she could kick like a mule and anyone could see that she was light on her feet, but it was obvious that her heart wasn't in it. The fact that she never took her hands out of her pockets made that abundantly clear.
And then there were rumors, guarded whispers murmured in the darkest corners of the room that children were never supposed to hear but so often did. Whispers about people who had disappeared without a trace as if they had just ceased to exist. Most of the adults seemed to believe that Aki was somehow involved, though there was no evidence to prove or disprove that theory, but what made it truly disturbing was that several of the people who disappeared were Jounin…
In any case things were about to get very, very interesting.
Uchiha Sasuke was a very objective person. He did things in ways that would best serve his goals with little emphasis on personal feelings outside of the goals themselves. So, as he finished sizing up potential teammates (he had been aware of the team system for some time now) he decided that his top pick would have to be Aki. Honestly, he didn't buy into the rumors that she was some kind of "psycho murderer." If the rumor mill were to be believed, the Fourth Hokage had been one of Orochimaru's experiments and he was going to marry half his class because of some obscure harem law. No, he didn't buy into the gossip, but he did know that Aki was strong and would not hold him back. It was because of this simple fact he would prefer Aki over most of his classmates. Admittedly, he would prefer an apprenticeship but she would make the most ideal training partner. The fact that she wouldn't fawn over him every chance she got also counted hugely in her favor.
'Besides,' he thought to himself, 'Even if the rumors were true, I haven't done anything to piss her off so I don't have anything to worry abou-'
"What are you talking about Forehead!? I was the first in!"
'Shit those two,' Sasuke groused internally as the daily ritual of Ino vs. Sakura started to devolve into a fan girl free for all… again.
"No! I'm going to sit next to Sasuke-kun!" shout Mizore.
"Why would he want to sit next to a cow like you when he could have me?!"
"All of you, shut up," came a voice from just in front of Sasuke causing the bickering girls to freeze and draw the collective stare of the entire class. They'd annoyed Aki… sadly (or fortunately depending on your point of view) fan girls are not known for their self-preservation instincts.
"Oh yeah? And what are you gonna do about it Carrot Top?!" snapped Ami, only to stiffen as her mind caught up with her mouth.
For a moment nobody moved. Then very slowly, deliberately, Aki stood up before calmly walking around the desk to stand right in front of the now petrified Ami. She leaned ever so slightly closer, invading the girl's personal space, as she stared unblinkingly into the other girl's eyes.
The seconds ticked past like hours...
Ami began to tremble, terrified...
The class held its breath. How long had it been. If felt like forever…
"KYAA!" Ami shrieked, so startled that her legs gave out, dropping her to the floor as she scrambled back into an adjacent desk before realizing that Aki hadn't even moved.
Snickering to herself Aki turned and sat down in the seat that the other girls had been fighting over, leaving Ami a quivering wreck.
It was at that moment that Iruka-sensei made his entrance. "Alright if everyone will please calm…down?" Slightly confused at the lack of noise in his classroom Iruka glanced around, finding a shivering Ami huddled in the aisle and Aki looking rather pleased with herself he sighed resignedly. "Moving on then, beginning today you will be-"
"Iruka-sensei?" called one student.
"Where is Mizuki-sensei?" the boy asked causing Iruka to freeze.
'Now that he mentions it, where is Mizuki? He's almost never late and I haven't seen him all week,' Iruka thought, a frown creasing his face as he tried to remember the last time he'd seen his colleague. Then Iruka noticed an all too familiar glint in Aki's eye and, remembering his friend's less than stellar opinion of the girl, he had a pretty good idea of what must have happened. 'Miuki you idiot,' he thought before turning to address his class. "Mizuki-sensei… has passed away," he answered, shocking the students.
Mizuki-sensei was dead?
"H-how?!" one of the boys stammered.
"He let his emotions rule his actions and paid the price for it," Iruka answered tiredly before quickly moving on. He'd have to report this development to the Hokage later but for now... "Anyway, after today all of you will be official gennin of the Hidden Leaf. You will be divided into three man teams and assigned a Jounin-sensei who will both lead your team and further your ninja training as you are assigned duties and missions. I wish you the best of luck and, if there are no questions..."
With that he began handing out the team assignments until he got to a match-up that would change the course of history, not just for Konoha but for the entire Shinobi world.
"Team 7 will be: Haruno Sakura, Uchiha Sasuke… and Aki."
At this Ino and Sakura shared a look, Sakura's seeming to ask her friend, "What just happened?" Ino's was more conflicted, something like, "I don't know whether to be pissed that you're with Sasuke-kun or pity you for being with Aki."
"Team 8 will be Hyuuga Hinata, Inuzuka Kiba, and Aburame Shino."
At this Aki turned to smirk at a girl near the back of the room, who was palming her face in frustration. "Have fun Sunshine!" she snickered, only to throw her head back and cackle when the girl gave Aki the one handed Tori seal.
Aki and Hinata weren't what you'd call friends, but they were the closest thing to a friend that either of them had. If pressed, their instructors would reluctantly called them rivals and, supposedly, Hinata had once called it a respect born of being the only two girls in the class that were even remotely serious about training.
"Team 10 will be Yamanaka Ino, Akamichi Chouji, and Nara Shikamaru."
Again Ino and Sakura shared a look, Ino's was something along the lines of, "Why me?" while Sakura seemed to be saying, "It could be worse."
"…Your sensei will arrive after lunch, until then what you're free to do as you wish."
A few minutes later found Sakura walking the grounds of the academy deep in thought when she noticed her crush, and now teammate, sitting by himself, "Ohayo Sasuke-kun," she said quietly as she sat down next to him, for once not asking for a date. In fact, she seemed oddly preoccupied with something. "Sasuke-kun…What do you think of Aki?"
Though surprised at Sakura's out of character behavior Sasuke replied, "I'm not sure what to make of her really... Why do you ask?"
For a long moment Sakura didn't answer. Then, after taking a deep fortifying breath she began to explain. "She scares me," she admitted. "I saw... well, I'm not sure what I saw. Anyway, this was two years ago, I think and one day I was walking home from school. When I was almost too my house I saw her walking down the street ahead of me," she paused again gathering herself. "Then all of a sudden this guy that lives a few doors down from me yelled something at her. I didn't hear what he said, but it didn't sound very nice. Then she stopped and glared at him, she had this look in her eye," she shivered at the memory. "He, my neighbor, he just fell over... dead."
Now that really got Sasuke's attention. "Fell over dead? How?"
"That's the thing," Sakura said, clearly shaken. "There wasn't anything wrong with him! He was completely healthy. He shouldn't have died."
There was a long pause as they both sat together contemplating their new teammate. Then Sasuke asked, "You said she was staring at him, did they make eye contact?" Sakura nodded, looking as confused as she was curious. That made Sasuke frown thoughtfully. "I wonder…"
"What is it Sasuke-kun?" she asked.
At first he didn't answer. "I'm wondering if she could have used... maybe some kind of hypnosis." Seeing Sakura's confused look he continued. "There was a member of my clan, a friend of my… brother, who became so adept with the hypnotic abilities of Sharingan that he could literally control people. The basis of hypnosis is to convince the mind of something. So, theoretically, if you could convince the mind that it had died…"
"Then the person would die," Sakura finished in a horrified tone, Sasuke nodded, "but your cousin had Sharingan how would she-"
"I don't know," Sasuke replied, visibly troubled. "It could be that it's some kind of advanced genjutsu that requires eye contact or even a doujutsu."
"You mean like Sharingan or Byakuugan?"
"No those are bloodline doujutsu. I'm talking about techniques somehow based on the eyes like Shikumi no jutsu where you use focused killing intent and eye contact to show the victim visions of their death to temporarily paralyze them."
"So what? She learned some ancient secret technique and now she can just go around looking at people to kill them?!" Sakura cried, almost in hysterics at the thought of it.
Humming thoughtfully Sasuke answered, "No, I don't think so… convincing the mind to kill itself would be incredibly hard. Most likely without the aid of something like Sharingan it would only work on the weak minded or create some kind of 'battle of wills' where she would have to overpower the other person's will to live... what I'm more worried about it where she would learn such a technique."
Again, a long silence overtook them until Sakura said, "I think…I think Iruka-sensei knows something."
"What makes you say that?"
"Whenever Aki's around he always seems so… sad, like somebody died or something."
Now that Sasuke thought about it, Sakura was right. "Well it's the best we have I guess, he should still be in the classroom."
As the two gennin leave neither notice their red haired teammate lounging in the tree high above where they had just been sitting, reading a red covered book. "How interesting," she muttered before snapping the book shut and jumping from her perch. "This might be fun after all," she muttered to herself as she put her book away and, for a brief moment, the lettering on the cover becomes visible: The Wrath of a Woman Scorned, By: Sannin no Jiraiya
This story is a combination of several challenges from my challenge forum (links on my profile): Living Blade, Mom's Looks Dad's Mind, and Wrath of a Woman Scorned (there's another one but it would give away a surprise)
Aki, the version which I am using, means evil/malevolent spirit.
Anyone having trouble with Aki's description think a smaller Yuroichi (from Bleach) with red hair, blue eyes, lighter skin, and a far more cryptic/malevolent disposition.
For any of you Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy fans Shini is actually the characters 4(shi) and 2(ni) put together. I felt Yonjuuni was a little long ;P
Fair warning, at this time this story is my last priority of the ones I have posted so updates WILL be slow in coming.