Started on: 3-26-12
Summary: Something—even though it was so small—happened to Sasuke during his curse mark transition from Orochimaru, and now the brooding teenager is now transforming in front of their eyes for everyone to see. The bite was a success, yes, but the only flaw is that for some reason the possessed Sasuke has a newfound interest in Sakura, who can watch helplessly as he merges with his dark, possessive side, still not sure if she likes it or not.
Disclaimer: IDNON. Hurrrrrplz.
Edit (11-28-13): …Wow.
I have no excuse as to why I haven't been writing or updating any of my stories lately, and I have no regrets. Well, I do very much regret that I may have made several of you frustrated or upset with the lack of updates, but I don't regret taking a break off of writing. School has been so stressful, and I only just regained the desire to write after so many months because now I have a long break, I can't hang out with one friend because of heartbreak, I can't hang out with another because she's all the way in Jamaica, and I'm just sitting around at home hoping to gain some sort of inspiration for something. It's been really difficult guys, I'll say that, so I'm sorry if I've disappointed some of you. But I REALLY needed that break.
And now I need to write to let out all of the stress and depression that's been plaguing me for the past few weeks. I hope you guys understand. On the other hand, my writing style and diction has matured, so you're going to see a major shift in the middle of the story, and so has my perspective on the subject of Sasuke's possessiveness.
Again, I'm sorry for my disappearance.
Of Dark and Light
Sakura dashed inside her home with a pale blue notebook clutched to her chest. She threw off her shinobi sandals, ignored the greetings of her mom, the grumbling of her low-toned father, avoided crashing into the walls behind every sharp turn, and dashed up the steep flight of stairs leading to her room. Just as her blue-eyed mom peered up at her in question, the mahogany door slammed shut and she could only catch a glimpse of the calloused bottom of her daughter's bare foot wave mockingly at her.
The woman turned to her husband curiously as he shared an exasperation look with her. "Teens..." He sighed, going back to face a sports program involving amateur ninjas and samurais on their small television. "To think we were like that once..."
She just shook her head, sent the door—the entrance to a seemingly quiet room—one more glance before strolling back to the kitchen to prepare dinner. The woman placed her smooth hands on the stove handle before hesitating, averting her eyes once more to Sakura's bedroom door.
Mebuki was a worrier. She had an undeniable instinct when it came to her children—or should she say only child. Biting her lip, she stared at the man she loved grinning slightly at some entertainment show. He and she—they made this wonderful child they called Sakura. She was brilliant, a quick-learner, obedient and respondent to love she and Kizashi portrayed to her daughter often. In fact… she was too brilliant.
The day she announced she wanted a profession as a kunoichi, she would admit that she panicked. Ninjas die every day, perhaps every given twenty minutes, but the pinkette brushed it and her mother's abating protests off with a huge smile. Of course, Kizashi seemed slightly worried as well, but he put her happiness above all and encouraged her dreams. She relented afterwards.
Mebuki wondered if she was happy with her ninja life, wondered about the mysterious boy she rambles on for hours in their quality time and if he treats her nicely, wondered about what she dreams of at night and why she had changed.
"Sakura! Dinner!" She called out with Kizashi claiming his spot at the dip of the table immediately and staring at her with wide eyes. She wanted to giggle at the sight of her husband's childish side leaking out, the only side she and Sakura could spot from time to time.
All thoughts of Sakura's life and doubts melted away when Mebuki watched her beautiful, loving daughter descend the stairs with a clever look apparent in her gem-like eyes. "What's for dinner, mom?" She asked her, beaming at her.
And they all circled around their tiny, wooden table that creaks and wobbles if they are too exuberant, but never broke under their hands for those long ten years before.
The pinkette rubbed her belly in satisfaction after another pleasant family dinner, smiling when she remembered how her father squeezed her protesting mother's cheeks with a large grin. With other children, they would have been disgusted at the thought of their parents getting "lovey-dovey", but she thought it was sweet. In addition, they both weren't that much older than most parents were compared to their children as they had her in their earlier years. Dad's hair was still a healthy-looking pale lavender, his eyes glowing with a fire. Mom's skin was as unblemished as ever as she stood as the illustration of beauty, her kindness to youth and old knowing no bounds, even though her sharp, strict eyes and furrowed browed appearance said something else…
She sighed as she entered her room, almost begrudgingly. Sometimes she got so caught up in her ninja life that she nearly forgot her warm family life. And now she knew was a time to transition out of that love and warmth…
Sakura glanced at the notebook that lay atop her burgundy desk, plain and spiral-bound, cheap too, but to her it was the smartest idea she could have ever created in her haze of fear though it was so simple.
She bounced into her cushy chair and did the one thing she was best at since her Academy years.
Day 1 – 9:43:15 PM.
I'm writing in here to record the events that may lead up to future issues. Probably even my own death, but it's too early to say so.
You can call me Haruno Sakura, a proud kunoichi of Konoha. You won't know that much about me; I have no special bloodline, my parents are civilians, so my name won't ring a bell in your head, won't it? That's okay. I don't mind. The only thing I ask of you if you read this is to know whether you should report it to the public or the Hokage or to keep it a secret. You'll know what to do and when. It may be stupid of me, but I have trust in whoever picks this up to have at least some sort of common sense…
You don't know me, do you?
Do you know Uchiha Sasuke and Uzumaki Naruto?
Uchiha Sasuke, no doubt you at least heard about him. The last Uchiha, as they say, from a massacre no one in the village of the leaves ever wants to mention again. He's a prodigy, to say the least, for I could wholeheartedly call him the strongest in our team. Very clever, too. I've seen him in action, especially in our very first mission with Zabuza when we were escorting our client, Tazuna. He's so cute; I often fantasize about him and show my affection openly. Or at least, I used to…
Uzumaki Naruto. If I could describe him with an epithet, it would be: Konoha's-Number-One-Knucklehead-Ninja. He's a little of an idiot, I would admit. In my tastes, he's a little loud and brashy, ALWAYS has in his nose stuck in trouble one way or another, is obsessed with trying to outwit Sasuke-kun in their one-sided rivalry, and, daresay… never stops trying to flirt with me. However, before I ramble on and on about his negatives, I can see there's a light in him that no one else I know has. He always says that his biggest goal is to become Hokage, so that everyone can acknowledge him for who he is. Once he revealed this, to me, I found a newfound respect for him.
He's still annoying, though.
They are my teammates.
We are Team 7.
I'm not sure who they are once this is read, but I'm curious. In the future, are they still as light-hearted and, though it may be small in Sasuke's part, kind? Are they still friends and do they still bicker? Am I still with them and you just found this by chance?
That's how I hope it all turns out, at least…
Now, here's the reason why I'm writing this.
Several days ago, during our Chuunin exams in the Forest of Death, Sasuke-kun was bitten by a pale-skinned man I later found out was named Orochimaru.
This is where our real story begins.
Sakura sighed, stretching her arms as she yawned in her comfortable position in her bed. When her hands brushed the flowing creases in her plain beige blanket, she fell into a thoughtful silence. She wiped her dry cheek, and then brought down her hand to her sore shoulder.
Gooseflesh and her discomfort rose as she remembered that night; it still shook her up a bit. Frowning, she slid out of bed to her bathroom.
You could say that… I'm one of them. Ummm, you know, haha… One of Sasuke-kun's fans. (Though it's a bit embarrassing to admit, even on paper!)
I've adored him for as long as I can remember. I think it dates back to our earliest Academy days, but the memory of when I met him lays dormant to this day. There have been a few nights when I ask myself, "How did I first meet Sasuke-kun?" and I would stay awake, staring at my ceiling in bed while trying to stir up that one memory. My only result as of late would be a rough, sleepless night and a deeper frustration than before.
It still bothers me, but I know straining myself too much can take a toll on my body. So, I'll wait for the day when the memory just appears inside my head on its own accord.
Anyway, moving on, there was an occurrence my team and I had with one of the most dangerous shonobi out there: Orochimaru, one of the original Sannin.
My team and I had been exploring the Forest of Death in our Chuunin Exams very cautiously, scouting the area for any unsuspecting teams to ambush and steal their scroll. Naruto, as obnoxious as he usually was, decided all on his own that he suddenly needed to 'relieve himself' which he could have done before coming to the forest. But, I was convinced he would be fine when I saw him shamelessly grin at the both of us, his form shrouded in darkness as he found an ideal… ummm, branch.
That's when things started to fall apart.
Before I even knew what was really going on, a woman with long dark hair was peering at us with a malicious grin. The smile still haunts me in my dreams. But in reality, that woman was a man, and he easily found ways to break down our barriers. I watched as Sasuke-kun, the teammate who was the strongest, the most experienced, the most confident, hyperventilate and scream, throwing weapons in a frenzy of panic.
I'd never seen Sasuke-kun like that before… and in that moment, I knew we were doomed.
But then, Naruto appeared as our savior in an unscrupulous fashion. He was the one to smack some sense into Sasuke-kun, but he was also the one who went to fall first.
The next thing I knew, I saw that man's neck suddenly shift, growing longer and longer in a snake-like manner. The way it swirled as his face plummeted towards Sasuke-kun was frightening; the movement suggested that no matter what way he tried to escape, he would catch him. Then, the man sunk his teeth into Sasuke-kun, quite literally. (It seemed too surreal, and it sounds like something out of a corny vampire trilogy, but I kid you not.)
When the mysterious man disappeared with chilling words, morphing into the forest's wood, Sasuke-kun began to writhe on the branch, screaming hoarsely in pain. I was overcome with fright and worry when I heard his tone heighten in a way I never thought was possible; it was bloodcurdling… it was unbearable.
Instinctively, I had hurried to his side, calling out his name desperately, but he acted like he couldn't hear anyone. His fingers were clutching the bark of the wood, his nails bleeding a little from the intrusions, so I took one of his arms and put it over my neck, where his right hand clawed at my red kunoichi dress. I grabbed his left hand and gave him a reassuring squeeze, or at least tried to, and he replied with a crushing grip.
At this point, I was almost in tears. I continued to call out his name, my own voice getting higher and higher that it mimicked his own whimpers. My eyes searched his face for any sort of response, but all I saw was creased brows and grinding teeth.
In that moment, my only thought was "I will never forgive that man".
The pinkette strolled over to her team's usual meeting point at the crimson bridge. She adopted a slower pace than usual because, to be honest, she dreaded their reunion. Naruto was oblivious as ever to this, but Kakashi had encountered Sasuke in his chase of her, and he was also the one to transfer the Uchiha to a safer location. Would he take her away in a more private area to "talk about her progress"? Would he bombard her with questions the moment she was in his plain sight? She sighed, rubbing her temples. She was sure she wouldn't be able to respond because she herself didn't know any answers either.
Her blood pumped through her veins when she caught a speck of red in the distance. And soon enough, orange and green dots appeared on the bridge. Gulping down her anxiety, she summoned the little courage and resolve she had left and mentally echoed assuring phrases in her mind.
It'll be fine! Sasuke is back to normal. He'll probably just give you a look and glance away like he usually does!
But… what if he transformed spontaneously in front of her whole team? She shook her head, dispelling the chance away. She couldn't focus on the bad things that could happen; that was when they really happened…
It didn't help that despite her constant reassurances that Sasuke had been possessed by some… some sort of demon, inside, a seed of fear had been planted inside of her. Her initial and innocent crush towards her raven teammate was now twisted into something much more dark, something that made her squirm, tear up, and hyperventilate. Disgust and fear… or was it just discomfort and pity? Whatever it was, it just urged Sakura to run and forget; forget the bite, forget his possession, forget Sakura, forget life…
The first person she saw turn his head her way was her grey-haired sensei, and for the greatest reason, she threw out any feelings of insecurity when she knew he was likely to question to her, and instead she was filled with an emotion that only two other men in her life had made her feel. Safe. Before she even knew it, her hesitant walking pace was warming up into a jog, and Naruto managed to face her, send her his radiant grin before hollering his normal flamboyant greeting with a "Sakura-chan!"
When she felt her soles scrape the royal red wood of the bridge, she noted one important character was missing. Frowning, she peered over to the older man who still was giving her his wary look. "Kakashi-sensei? Where's Sasuke-kun?"
"The teme's late!" Naruto grumbled impatiently, crossing his arms over in a huff.
Kakashi sized her up for a moment. The pinkette couldn't deny how vulnerable, and just a little bit violated, she felt every time someone judged her, their eyes seemingly piercing through her form as they looked up and down. Then, as if he had only frozen, he smiled crookedly underneath his dark mask. "Ah, he sent me a message beforehand early this morning. It seems he will have to skip training for a few days to talk about clan business with the Hokage, but he isn't sure if this matter will be taking longer than that."
She could only imagine what he was really saying between the lines. "He's pretty maniacal right now, so he's being imprisoned and guarded until we can find out some sort of cure. It's most likely going a while for him to recover."
For some reason, today her mouth worked faster than her brain. "Hmmm… I guess I could visit him later on and see if he's doing okay, then." Her outward beam desperately covered up her inner grimace. What was she saying?!
The jounin gave his student a stern one-eyed glare that fixed her beam onto her face, when suddenly, the look softened and cogs began to turn in his head. Sakura's determination when Naruto let out an indignant cry of protest at the thought of the female visiting the dark avenger. She was swimming in relief, however, when Kakashi merely nodded in supportive agreement. "When you do, send him my regards!" She managed to catch the dry undertone for a half a second.
"Alright," The older man clapped his hands together. "Enough talk; time to train!"
The pinkette nearly cried out in frustration as she slid down onto one knee into the short blades of grass in fatigue, gritting her teeth. Her sparring partner, less begrimed and sweaty, mirrored her stance near a lush tree and panted loudly. "Wow, Sakura-chan," Her blond teammate prattled loudly with a wide grin. "You sure did improve!"
Liar. Sakura hissed inwardly, her dark mood swirling inside of her chest like an unbridled tempest. He was holding back, and she could tell. Naruto didn't charge her head on with his full power like he did when she observed how Sasuke and him sparred. Rage swirled in her narrowed emerald eyes. He was going easy on her.
If he was really giving her his all, he would have been glaring at her with burning determination and charging at her with several of his clones. She was no fool. She was painfully aware of his time spent away from Konoha, and based on his long, colorful tales, Jiraiya, one of the renown and powerful Sannin, had been teaching him several practical jutsus (one, he claimed proudly, summoned a toad bigger than the Hokage's mansion). Yet, during their spars, he had chosen to resort to his taijustu and low-level weapons. And his stare, she clicked her teeth together. It really didn't help that he continued to look upon her with open admiration for the whole duration of the mock-fight.
Growling with her eyesight burning a brilliant shade of red, she quickly snapped a handful of kunai in his direction with speed she never knew she had. Naruto, bleary-eyed, yelped out in surprise and threw himself away from the tree, the weapons embedding themselves with a loud thud. Giving him no chance to recover, she hurtled towards him quickly, the muscles in her nimble, soft legs burning in protest.
Swiftly she attacked, and Naruto could only dodge sloppily as his teammate ambushed him in a barrage of powerful strikes. Bright blue eyes widened at the seventh blow, and the blond gasped in pain when her precise kick slammed straight into his abdomen. With a cry of pain, he went flying into the foliage of the trees, the telltale sound of crackling indicating that he was falling back onto the ground.
Finally! Sakura thought with unrestrained glee. After nearly fifteen minutes of a useless dance of attack-and-dodge, she had managed to land the first blow.
After a few seconds of strolling cautiously through the brilliantly green and brown mini-forest, the warm sunlight peeking through the leaves, she found Naruto, face down in the dirt with his eyes swimming. "Owww…" He moaned and twitched a few times.
Sakura eyed him with outrage and disbelief. He wouldn't have been lying on the ground unceremoniously if he was sparring with Sasuke or another ninja. Angered, she managed to give him a strong kick to his head.
"OW!" The blond genin cried out in pain. "Sakura-chan!" He nearly sobbed.
"Will you ever stop acting so immature?!" She snarled, her fists clenched and shaking at her sides as the knuckles were bleeding bone-white. "If we were in a real fight, you would be getting up and charging at me with everything you had, but what are you doing now?! Lying down on the floor? Taking a small nap? JUST WHAT DO YOU TAKE ME FOR?!"
Naruto, now sitting up in shock, listened to her with his mouth agape, and she would have stopped her embarrassing rant if she had taken the time to hear their sensei approach from behind. "I don't need you to baby me. I don't need anyone to protect me! I'm a full-grown kunoichi who can take care of herself! I'm not a damsel in distress, dammit! I don't need you… I DON'T NEED ANYONE!"
"Sakura," She felt a large hand shake her left shoulder gently. Surprised, her jaw snapped shut, her teeth ringing slightly at the force. "Sakura, that's enough."
As the red bled out of her sight, she felt shame lodge itself in her throat. Naruto was staring at her with a great amount of hurt and confusion, so much that the pinkette swiveled her gaze to the shadows on the forest floor and couldn't bring herself to glance back up at the dirt-matted face again. What was wrong with her? Naruto didn't deserve all those words, no one did. It just… it just came out of nowhere.
The Haruno ninja covered her face with her ashy hands, burning with regret. Why was she acting this way?
"Well," Kakashi's false cheer broke through her tension, shaking her out of her reverie. "I think that's enough sparring for today! Wouldn't want to exhaust ourselves before the Chunnin Exams, right? Why don't you two head on home and get some rest?"
She had to apologize to Naruto. She needed to pull him aside and explain the situation. Didn't he deserve to know what was going on to his teammates? Screw keeping confidential information! Hadn't Kakashi-sensei been the one to tell her to value friends and teammates over oneself? And then, she had to have a serious talk with her grey-haired sensei. Sasuke's absence was both a comfort and a curse. Where was he? Was he himself? She needed to have a long conversation to him. She needed to figure out how she felt about Sasuke now. She needed answers from the Hokage. She needed to warn all of the other genin. She needed to keep her shoulder injury hidden. She needed to tend to the throbbing injury. She needed to protect Sasuke and Naruto. She needed… she needed…
She needed a break…
Emotionally, mentally and physically exhausted, Sakura walked away from the training field with heavy burdens, dragging her feet on the gravel of the road and very much aware of the exchanged worry looks between the remaining members of her team.
The beast was pacing back and forth in its cage with no walls, and when it wasn't pacing, it was worrying at his nails.
Its host was semi-conscious as he stared at the white table in front of him, and it pitied him for his pain and confusion from the blinding light and throbbing migraine. It hadn't meant harm to its host, but it had done what had to be done.
And yet, while the beast was happy it had been able to mark its territory, jumping with glee would be a more accurate term, a foreign, invasive emotion continued to dampen its celebration. With its happiness came the girl's pain, and the image of her damp, horrified face constantly replayed inside of its host's mind.
Not only that, but heavy thoughts and words circled the beast inside the vast, dark space. What have I done? What happened? Where am I? Sakura… Sakura, why am I thinking of her? Why have they taken me? The beast quickened its pacing and its breathing grew shallow as its host's emotions attacked it with each new thought.
"Uchiha Sasuke," A voice resounded outside of the beast's cage, and it instinctively snarled. Sasuke also bore his teeth involuntarily at the stranger. The Uchiha blinked furiously, feeling heavy as he wiped the expression off his face and glared questioning at the masked ANBU standing in front of his, their hands folded behind their back.
"Where am I?" He demanded, wondering why his voice was so hoarse and why his dry mouth tasted strongly of iron. The corners of his eyes were fuzzy and dark as he squinted at the opposing ninja. He wiggled in discomfort, indignant when he realized that his hands bound and that they had drugged him.
"You're charged with the assault of a fellow ninja as well as breaking and entering," The masked shinobi continued, ignoring the way the surviving Uchiha glared furiously at him. "Attacking a teammate is considered one of the highest crimes in Konohagakure," The crow-masked ANBU drawled maliciously, noting how the young Uchiha froze and his eyes dimmed.
"What are you talking about?" Sasuke sniped, cursing at himself when he heard his voice waver. Scrambling around in his mind for the memories prior to his capture—and during because he honestly could not remember any of this—Sasuke winced as his migraine intensified when small visions and images flashed before his glassy eyes.
The beast whined as its host's pain, pawing at its own head.
"Unfortunately, with your… condition," The annoying man droned, his monotonous voice scratching against Sasuke's ears. "And with the Hokage's orders, we have to lighten your sentence—"
"Condition?" The raven-haired genin growled, frustrated for being left in the dark.
"—since you are, after all, diagnosed as criminally insane."
"I—" Sasuke paused in horror, and suddenly, he remembered.
"With this, you are now forbidden from seeing Haruno Sakura for the duration of 6 months—"
"I'm not insane," He pulled at his restraints, feeling the overwhelming guilt and panic and disgust and fear and no no no no what did he do? His eyesight swam as the emotions he had steeled himself against for years began to pour and drown him. "I… I'm not…"
The beast stiffened as it heard the familiar call for help wailing inside of its host.
"—and if there is no sufficient cure or treatment, you will be exempt from the Chuunin exams and put on probation for 2 years—"
The man's words were forgotten and drowned out, and soon the only sound Sasuke could hear was his heart beating faster and louder than he remembered. Trembling, he couldn't see the shinobi's lips moving behind the mask, but he could hear everything he was meaning to say in his unforgiving, brown eyes peering through the holes.
YOU'RE A MONSTER.
Growling, the beast embraced its panicked host. It insistently urged him to fall back to sleep in his mind, but in his shock, Sasuke chose to stay conscious and watch in horror as the being took control of his body.
Sasuke knew he was screaming and holding his head as the pain in his head exploded. He was clawing at everything and flailing his arms freely, as the darkness swirled down his arms in cold fire. Like bruises, they stood out from his pale arms, and with sick fascination, he wondered if there was a way cover his whole body in the black marks.
He was laughing. Why was he laughing?
"Die, die, die," He was chanting, grinning widely at the ANBU who stood still throughout the episode. "I think you should die. Wouldn't that be fun?"
He remembered that he had thrown himself at the ninja opposite of him with great speed and was instantly wrestling with a man. He remembered snapping a few bones, hearing a few gargled screams, and the smell of burning flesh. He remembered screaming when he couldn't move and when he spotted the familiar face of his sensei hovering above him, looking pensive and regretful. "I'm sorry, Sasuke."
The beast roared, clawing at its invisible cage. It wouldn't let anyone hurt its host. It wouldn't let anyone hurt Sakura. No… no no NO NO NO—
Quickly, both the beast and host fell into warm, dark and ignorant bliss.
And… yeah. More expansion on the plot.
I know that there wasn't any Sasuke and Sakura interaction this chapter, but don't worry. There will be in the next chapter.
Anyway, some people suggested that some other relationships, such as the one between Naruto and Sakura, should be expanded upon, and I agree that I have been centering on Sasuke and Sakura a little too much in previous chapters. Sakura will need some support and relief throughout the story or else she'll go crazy, so it'll be required.
Also, like I've mentioned before, my thoughts on Sasuke's condition and his behavior have changed. When I first created this story, I mainly thought his possessiveness and his mental condition was hot, but now when I step back and look on what I've learned these past few years, I know the problems runs deeper than that. There will definitely be come psychological issues and explanations with his condition in the future. Also, if someone like Sakura experienced what she had, I know that they'd be traumatized. And I'm trying to incorporate that in, too.
Anyway, I don't know when the next chapter will be written. I don't want to make empty promises like before, but know when I do, I will at least have some motivation to make a well-written chapter rather than spew out crap.
And the usual R&R and all that. XD
I hope this chapter wasn't too disappointing.