Though I'm not sure about this one...I'm currently holding my brain hostage for being nastily uncooperative, so I wrote this. (Awhile ago...actually.) I can't think clearly, and nothing comes without me forcing it.

Translation: I have horrendous writer's block at the moment. Also to boot I wrote a bazillion one shots and other garble like this instead, and fear the wrath of those "other stories" readers.

If you understood that and don't detest me at the moment, than you get an invisible badge! Whee.

DO NOT READ IF YOU'RE NOT UP TO DATE WITH THE MANGA OR ANIME

(How's that for spoiler alert? Unless you don't care...)


Juugo..

Juugo..

Juugo!

His head throbbed and his throat ached from water depravation, just the thing for a caged beast such as himself. Being too dangerous for the outside, too monstrous for contact with normal people having its twisted consequences. He even surpassed people more vastly separated from their minds than he.

Why was it this way? He deserved to be outside. They deserved punishment. They deserved death.

Juugo. Kill them.

And that voice!

It was maddening with the perpetual repentance of his own name.

Juugo!

"Stop it!" Juugo screamed, gripping his head in agony. "I know, I know."

He slammed his back against the metal confines of his cage, his chains clinking like a signal.

When would it stop, if ever?

He didn't want to kill anybody. It wasn't supposed to be this way. He was never supposed to murder with such a pleasurable feeling. But he did.

Every single time.

If there was anyone to hate, it was himself, not the people who had made him a merciless killing machine. Oh, how Juugo despised his own blackened soul.

Everyone deserves to die. Kill them...

Juugo.

Again. It was there again. The words were like poison, stinging his controlled thoughts and furthering it into his other horribly demonic subconscious.

Then, she came.

-OOO-

"Let me go!" She kicked and bit at their hands. They laughed at her, pleased that they had gotten such an openly amusing rouse out of the girl.

They tossed her inside a cell, still laughing.

"What?" one guard asked, scrutinizing her pitiful form. "Did you expect the royal treatment because of your previous status as a ninja?"

She leaped forward with a shrill cry. Thick poles of titanium met her fury and she bounced back, griping her shoulder.

"Bastards," she spit.

She flinched as he grabbed at her hair through the metal confine and pulled her close to him.

"Think again, Sakura Haruno," he whispered against her face. "The world you knew is over. Get used to it."

He chuckled darkly again, slamming her face into the bars before leaving the girl to her own caged destiny.

Sakura curled away, wincing slightly as her arm brushed against the dirtied wall. Her nose throbbed and blood gushed as she touched it lightly with the tips of her fingers.

The Akatsuki. That ruthless band of criminals had actually done it. He had set fire to all villages after Konoha's demise. Pain, a name that was too highly disgusting even in her thoughts.

He had sought out all who had opposed them, roping them together in these prisons like dirty animals. It was ironic how the very prison they'd caged her in was admits the ruins of Konoha like some sick joke.

He constantly spoke of peace. What peace ended in death?

And that's what she had told him.

"Join me, Sakura. I am very much displeased by unnecessary bloodshed."

Sakura bit her thumb and spit at the dirt that was there.

He hadn't been smug about her defeat, which made it difficult to tell if he was a deceitful person. Had he been lying? It really hadn't seemed that way. Sakura mentally replayed the scene, her confusion escalating with every word.

"Your powers would be a very valuable attribute to my plan."

His eyes played over their locked gaze lightly with a demanding quality.

Sakura looked from the ground, bloodied and dirty from protecting Naruto and being dragged away by a few of Pain's followers."I'd never help you hunt down Naruto! I don't sell out my friends." Sakura laughed at the strange thought. "Then again, I wouldn't expect someone like you to understand."

He smiled for the briefest of seconds, like he found amusement in her spiteful words. Then his cold persona returned quickly.

"I see," he said with a glance to the guards that held her down. They yanked her up quickly without bothering to hear a verbal command. A look was enough with Pain concerned. "There is a holding station in Konoha you'll be positioned at. As I mentioned before, I detest any bloodshed without cause. But if you're as skilled as I've heard . . . you might be useful in more than one way."

She'd screamed, she'd kicked, clawed, bit. Yet here she was to suffer in whatever unending torture Pain had subjected to her.

At least Naruto had gotten out. That's what was important. So, she had been taken prisoner in exchange for his fact alone that Pain wouldn't be able to complete his horrible world domination was a drive large enough for Sakura to see the light in her bleak surroundings.

Sakura folded into her arms and legs, feeling the scratches and pain she'd numbed these past few weeks of utter five nations had fallen. Thousands were dead.

But Naruto had escaped, the only missing link in Pain's demonic plan.

Happy. She should be happy.

"I'm happy . . . "

Yet the tears came anyway.

-OOO-

Laughing.

Juugo could hear the faint sounds of laughter. He hadn't heard that sort of merry noise in so long. Suigetsu had laughed. At Karin, of course. And it was in a more cynical way, but it was laughter.

But this was so near, just outside his metal cage.

Near is good. Near means you can kill them faster.

Juugo mentally pushed these thoughts away with little ease.

He could smell the sweet flowery aroma of a woman. Killing a woman would bother him more than taking a life of a were fragile. Well . . . most women.

Juugo scratched at the ground, tracing the names of his former team in the dirt. Or blood. With so many people passing in here and being killed by his incapability to control the lust for blood that haunted him, Juugo couldn't even smell the difference anymore.

Sasuke . . .

Karin . . .

Suigetsu . . .

He repeated them as he wrote, not wanting to forget the days he'd been able to move freely among people again. Sasuke had been capable of withholding his other side so easily. Just as . .

Kimimaro

Juugo stared at the familiar name he'd written unconsciously after his teammates'.

He'd died. Why hadn't he, himself, already?

Not YOU, Juugo. THEM. They deserve to die.

Juugo gripped his head and curled his fingers into his hair.

"Ngh."

He felt it. The curse mark. It was spreading. Inflaming his skin with the design of a man-made killer. It swirled dangerously from beneath his grey prison garb and stretched along his face in bulging tendrils.

He tore at his shoulder, thinking he could stop its growth. It licked at his thoughts, seeding them with the images of all he'd taken barehanded. The horrid thoughts burned his retinas, but he couldn't rid of them.

Before long he was . . .

Locks!

Juugo's blood thirsty eyes darted toward the door, his thoughts mingling and blending with the curse mark's.

Woman . . . No matter. I'll kill them all . . .

Juugo watched silently, licking his lips at the piercing screams he would hear when they saw the monster they were so keen to unleash upon themselves. He should be thanking them. Confinement made his killing thirst so hard to quench.

The random guard. The foolhardy insubordinate.

He gazed among the bodies that littered the space-deprived cell.

Lucky souls . . .

To be killed by him was an honor. It meant he cared enough to end their pitiful existences.

His listened intently as the sound of a key turning numerous locks grazed his ears. They were coming in! Lucky indeed...

"But so foolish!"

He pushed up from the ground, his distorted arm pulsating violently and distorting itself into weapon for destruction.

At that exact moment sea green eyes preened his bloodthirsty gaze.

He'd just killed an angel.

-OOO-

He was staring at her.

His eyes flashed orange through the opaque surroundings. So opposite from the frightening red she'd seen before.

They'd claimed she was going to have a bunk mate. By the way they had laughed so snidely should've set off warning signals. But it hadn't. And the painful consequence was being shoved into a cell and being rushed at so quickly, with the crazed eyes of a killer blurring in her vision as something sharp punctured her stomach.

But by what . . .

Sakura looked to him. Even sitting down, his largeness was apparent. Little flecks of light passed under the crack of the door now and again, so Sakura could see enough to know his hair was a kind of soft light red, almost an orange of sorts.

After their violent introduction of each other, he had backed into a corner, his chains signifying that maybe he was in here for reason more than rejecting the reality Pain was set on to fulfill.

At first the raw pain had been so bad her breaths had come in complicated gasps that were more trouble than rewarding. She had crawled pathetically over to the opposing side, thinking he was just back tracking to charge again. The second time fatal.

But he stayed where he was in the obvious solitude state he was accustomed to. Almost like a young puppy who knew it broke the rules, except he was more like a large wolf with split morals.

But she could feel as he stared . . .

And stared . . .

Still stared . . .

Sakura opened her closed eyes when she heard a slight low grumble. The pain in her stomach had lessened after sewing the wound with her chakra. The suffering was bearable but the healing had taken a large amount of energy she hadn't had for spare.

She peaked through the darkness, wary of his presence and confused to as why he hadn't disposed of her already.

Nothing.

Sakura rested her head against the wall with little comfort, settling for the reason that it was her loopy drowsiness taking effect from sleep deprivation.

"I'm sorry . . . "

Sakura snapped fully awake.

Calm, smooth. His voice was so gentle.

"For what?" she asked, skeptical that he had even spoken.

His gaze faltered for the first time in what she assumed were hours.

He scratched at the ground, then looked to her again. "I hurt you."

Sakura cocked her head to the side. He was sorry?

But before she could ask him more, the door was thrown open and a group of guards blurred in.

"She's alive . . . " one said in disbelief. "She's tamed Juugo."

Then he charged.

-OOO-

Juugo didn't think, didn't even stop to feel. That would only slow him.

He barreled through the guards that had been so foolish to unleash his anger, clutching one and feeling the sickening crack as his neck broke beneath his curled, bloody fingers.

Weak. weak. WEAK.

All of them!...

Juugo slashed at another with his lengthened claw-like nails. He fell without a scream, a gash pouring with blood across his chest.

They're all so WORTHLESS!

He felt the crunch of nimble bones beneath his nerves when slamming another into the cold stone of the prison he'd begun to know so well.

That made ten.

But he smelt another one. A worthless human life, this one somehow weaker than the others.

He swivelled toward the presence of the lower being, taken aback a bit when the image of a frightened woman broke through his clouded thoughts. She stared at him with glittering eyes on the edge of tears.

She'd witnessed it all.

Juugo stepped back, the feeling of shame pulsating through his curse mark easily and allowing him to see what he had caused. This destruction, these lives.

Juugo felt his violent wanting for destruction slip, and closed his eyes to block out the woman. She was doing it. The girl was somehow controlling his other side.

She must be killed!

It felt like a slap, that thought. For the barest of a moment, he had allowed himself to think he could control the vicious weapon. But it wasn't so. He was doomed to a life of chains and self loathing–

His left arm thickened, his veins warping and his skin hardening into a indestructible shell.

–forever.

He stepped toward her slowly, his massive size overpowering her easily. She trembled, her eyes growing wide as the curse marked snaked around his eye, distorting the iris orange and the white that surrounded it black.

He grabbed her collar, the odd feeling of not wanting this itching his mind like an annoying reminder. It quickly grew to a sting as he held her up from the ground, her feet dangling pathetically as her nails tore at the hand that held her captive.

It was then that he took notice of her appearance. Usually, this wasn't a normal occurrence. With him it was kill when you can as fast as you can. The soft curves of her lips drew him in first. They were moving, forming words that didn't sound.

"Juugo!"

Juugo stiffened. That was his name, but where? Her lips were moving as she said it again, the same thing.

"Juugo!"

His curse mark burned then, receding as it finally felt the meaning of her words, the power his name held.

A coolness to his cheek was when he finally allowed his eyes to open. She was peering up at him, smiling even, as she said it again and he allowed her voice to break against the thoughts that plagued his actions.

She held a both hands to his face.

"Juugo. It's okay. You're okay."

His fingers loosened their grip. He felt himself convert to his original mind and lay her down gently.

Then...he fell asleep. His last image of an angel watching over him.