If the Nibi's thoughts seem a bit… theatrical, I decided that a bijuu should maybe be a bit more eloquent (read: dramatic) in their thoughts when killing someone.

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.


Peel off the napkin
O my enemy
Do I terrify?—

Lady Lazarus by Sylvia Plath


Yugito has allowed the Nibi to take control of her body twice in the past. Both of these occasions she remembers all too vividly and without anything resembling pleasure; she has a pink scar from a chakra burn and black one to tell her what the stories were.

The first time, she was three. The black voice in her head was still fresh and new, still a comforting presence to an lonely little girl. The Nibi's voice was full of smiles and she asked, with that crooning, pleading note, if Yugito would let her come on out and play.

Half of the fourteenth district of Kumo was destroyed before the Raikage and Kirabi could subdue her. Yugito never trusted the Nibi again and the bijuu's tone darkened from honey-sweet to demanding and menacing.

The second time, Yugito was nine. She was taking the Chunin exams and the genin she was paired against in the preliminaries was twice her age and size. He sneered as his hand closed around her throat, the light gleaming off his Iwa hitai-ate like a miniature sun.

Give me your body, the Nibi had said then, and I will strike down he who seeks to harm you.

The Iwa genin was burnt to a cinder within a quarter of a second. Yugito wore restraining seals, the black marks of punishment, on her flesh for a month afterwards to keep the Nibi from surfacing. Afterwards, her training to control the Nibi and utilize her powers was intensified.

Now is little different. It's survival; nothing more, nothing less. The Nibi allows Yugito passive awareness of what goes on when she takes over her host's body; she even gives the choice of who to go after first. However, the bijuu doesn't let Yugito decide when she should go back to her little haunt in the back of her host's mind; the Nibi either gets tired or Yugito's body starts to cry for release, and that's when the bijuu decides she's had enough and retreats.

Who first, human?

Through a caul of blue fire Yugito can see her surviving attackers staring at her in horror, mouths agape like gasping fish. The one who had grabbed her from behind has backed away, run around to join his comrades; his rough, scarred face is blanched the color of bleached bone.

The woman; the one with the wakizashi.

Gladly.

The woman dies screaming, not burnt to ashes as the Iwa genin was six years ago but still burnt, so badly burnt that her skin gleams black and shines in the dim light.

The men take one look at their companion's corpse and turn tail and run.

Good.

They dodge well, for little mice. Blood rushes in Yugito's ears and her mouth and the mouth of the Nibi's chakra cloak twists in an exultant sneer. As hands and feet hit the forest floor leaves shrivel under the heat of glowing claws. They continue to run. Good; Yugito likes it better this way. They both do.

As she chases down her prey more men and women come fleeing out of the trees, seeing the jinchuuriki cloaked in her bijuu's chakra and desperately seeking escape. Run, mice. Two are incinerated by a fireball burning so hot that its flames are blue; still more are crushed under the weight of giant paws.

Who else is there? Yugito's consciousness has all but dropped off to sleep; as it is she is now only vaguely aware of the Nibi's rampage. A few vague, blurred images, the aroma of blood rising in her nostrils and burning flesh settling there too. Nothing more than that. Who still lingers?

-0-

There is one.

Tsuyoshi flinches at the ache of his broken leg, but does not cry out. He knows that hiding behind this tree is a poor method of concealing himself, but there's nothing better at the moment. He can't walk in his condition, and can only keep silent and pray that that, that… thing won't notice he's there. Beyond that, if one of his comrades lives, they'll hopefully find him and help him.

It was supposed to be a simple mission. It was supposed to be simple. It had all been so cut and dry—capture the Nibi jinchuuriki and bring her back to the base for a neat and tidy profit. Tsuyoshi didn't question why his employer wanted her; he never questioned the motives of his employers. Normally, he wouldn't accept jobs of this scale against such dangerous shinobi, but from what he had been told the jinchuuriki's chakra was sealed. Coupled with the fact that she was a young girl even if she was dangerous Tsuyoshi had been certain he could handle it.

How wrong he had been.

Damn it, this hurts. The painkillers he has in his pouch won't make it any easier to walk; Tsuyoshi's stuck until help arrives, and even then, there's little more honor among bounty hunters than thieves. He doesn't expect much out of anyone but Haruka; she always pulls through. If she's bit it I'm really screwed this time.

Tsuyoshi manages a sick little smile. God, my wife's gonna kill me when she finds out about this; she told me not to take this job, and look where it's gotten me. No doubt about it, Ikumi will be beyond furious when she finds out; she might even get out the frying pan again.

And the kids are gonna be wondering where Daddy got his new scar.

Well, if he comes back, that is, and since this jinchuuriki apparently didn't have her chakra sealed like they said she had and she's gone psycho on us, the chances of me getting out alive are slim to none.

Damn it, I wanna see my kids again.

After a few minutes, all is quiet. Tsuyoshi allows himself a smile not tinged with nausea (well, sort of), when he realizes that he might just get out of this in one piece. Hello, my darlings, hello, my babies, Daddy's coming home.

Then, a low, guttural growl comes from behind the tree, and Tsuyoshi's blood freezes in his veins.

Death greets him on the heels of a vicious feline grin and a maelstrom of blue flame.