Don't get caught, you said.

Sorry, I think dimly. Too late for warnings.

Always too late.

It didn't take much, a strange sound [suspiciously like a scream], a thud of running feet, a look (go!) a trap [-dead, his corpse falling off the trees as his neck separated cleanly from his shoulders with a meaty sounding shhluck] a hand, a flicker of fingers, a jutsu, darkness.

Waiting is the worst part, you said.

To you, maybe, but not to me. You were the only masochist on the team.

Pain doesn't have to be physical.

You, bent double, gasping in shock as a bloodied blade withdraws from your stomach-your fault, He says.

No, not my fault.

Really? He didn't die taking that blow for you?

Died doing his duty. Defiant. Staring at him with ruined eyes and a grin on cracked and bloody lips.


[screaming, broken bodies and empty eyes. Dead.]

Who's screaming? Penetrating, the haze of drugs and fear and pain--me.

[Dark shadows, flickering across the wall as snakes coiledwitheredhissed around his armslegstorsoneck. Fangs sinking into vulnerable skin, breaking the flesh, leaving oozing wounds, dripping dark redblack blood. Howling mad as deadly venom slips into veins, tainted blood carried by wildly beating heart.] Pitiful.

Spits up blood, pants harshly. Bastard.

A dark, smooth, menacing chuckle.

It's my job, boy. And I'm good at it.

Pain doesn't have to be physical. But sometimes it is.

Chains creaking, clanking and slithering across the ground. Footsteps, and a beaten body painfully curls into a tighter ball. The door opens, shedding a dim rectangle of light on the emaciated, broken shell. Swollen eyes crack hesitantly, only to slam shut a moment later-light, as dim as it is, is as painful as the acid that dripped onto raw nerves-heal him.

An order. A stifled whimper –nonononononono not again, he can't take it all overagain- as a soothing green presence starts seeping into bonetissueorgans, closing cuts and rips, shrinking bruises, healing.

Ready for another round?

Don't get caught, you said.

Flame hisses as metal is heated to white-hot pain.

Last chance, boy. Tell us what we want to know.

Gasping for breath [like a drowning man, who flailed wildly as his head was shoved under] and glaring defiance, eyes long gone and furrows gouged in the face, redblack blood dried and flaking.

Rust on an old, forgotten tool.

No hard feelings boy. Just doing my job. Almost regretful, a faint undercurrent of admiration in the dark river of thoughts that he can pick out.

You're loosing your touch- you start, rasping out painfully what were probably your last words, unable to resist the temptation to needle him. His voice blanks out, returning to cold, menacing, unfeeling-bastard- safe.

Iron shoved against scarred flesh. A scream, ripped out of almost-shredded vocal chords that goes on and on and onandonandonandon as he writhes like a worm caught on a hook.

A glint of metal in the light of the forge, barely noticeable and blood is pouring like thick red tears.

Sorry, I think, dimly.

Because some warnings come too late.


Author's Note:

This is the hinted at collection of one-shots thing, that will be updated very sporadically. The entire idea behind this is to give background stories to my characters in the Traitorous universe. Some will be completely made up. Others will be inspired by somebody else's work.

This one? Is just some random dude being tortured. The next one is Iruka. I have: Iruka, Sandaime, Izumo, Kotetsu and part of Genma written. I take requests!

As always, reviews are welcome, I listen to my reviewers, and I try my best to get back to them. I would actually, really like feedback for this. If you spot anything-an inconsistency [and I KNOW that the person changes from me to he to you, that was on purpose] or something else, I'd love to get your review.