Hōseki No Ko

The First Passage:

His footsteps felt heavy as he walked into the gates of the Sound Village. Dusk's pale light flooded through the dense trees and gave the village an odd sense of peace; it was strange for him to see, he had always thought of the Sound to be his enemy. However, now that he was standing there inside of the small village, it didn't seem nearly as ominous as it was made out to be by his former colleges.

"Sasuke, welcome." Sasuke blinked and looked away from the forest that seemed to be made mostly out of evergreens and into the eyes of a white haired youth.

"So it's you…"

"I never did have time to reveal my identity," Kabuto said as he pushed up his glasses. "However, from this moment on, I am your fellow Sound Shinobi."

"Che…" Kabuto smirked.

"I think you and I are going to get along greatly. You don't seem like the ask-questions type." Sasuke didn't respond, but again focused his eyes on the little village. "Yes, we're a small village, however, we have some very power shinobi. Orochimaru's successor lives here as well, and she is not a force to be reckoned with."

"Successor?" Sasuke muttered as he looked back up at Kabuto. Again, Kabuto smirked, as if knowing something Sasuke didn't.

"Yes, she's the leader's right-hand shinobi." Sasuke let out a sigh and looked somewhere else; a clear sign of dismissing the topic, so Kabuto changed it. "Let's go meet with Orochimaru. I'm sure that he is longing to see you again."

"I'm only here for power, understand?" Sasuke asked with a light glare; he realised that glaring would probably become somewhat of a normal expression for him. From his first impression, he could already tell that Kabuto would be hanging around a lot, and something just whispered to him that the man would be a troublesome annoyance.

It only took Sasuke two weeks to map out every corner of the Sound village. However, for some reason, Orochimaru insisted that six months later, he be given an official tour of the village by Kabuto; why this was necessary was beyond him, but he had a suspicion that Orochimaru wanted Kabuto to keep him busy for some reason.

"Kabuto, just leave me be."

"Sorry Sasuke, I can't do that, but I can let you off of this tour. Would you like to go to the training grounds and spar?"

"Hn."

"That sounds fine then, come on." Sasuke followed as he inwardly sighed. However, his interests were peaked when they arrived at the training grounds. In the center of the field, a girl fought Orochimaru. She looked to be about sixteen or seventeen according to her hip and bust size, but what was strange was the creamy-white blindfold over her eyes. He could tell they were practicing Taijutsu, and saw that she was actually holding up against Orochimaru, though it wasn't much to be praised for because Orochimaru was more of the slow-combat type. She was wearing just tight black shorts and a black tank top. When he saw her next to his teacher, he noticed they were obviously related because of their pale skin and dark hair, even though hers was a lot more lustrous than his.

"We should go," Kabuto said as he turned around.

"Who is she?" Sasuke inquired, though he didn't move from his spot.

"She is the Hebiko…Orochimaru's successor." Sasuke let out a dismissive noise and then turned around. Kabuto couldn't help but smirk as they continue walking away from the scene.

Hikari completely resented Sasuke by the time a year had passed. Her feelings had become bitter, twisting her logic and her rational thinking of the past; she felt that Sasuke didn't need to do the things he did, and resented that he would go to the very person who had hurt her for so many years for power. Even if this power would help him kill Itachi, she didn't feel that he should willingly take it, she knew that he could have gained the same kind of power in Konoha. However, he was impatient and didn't want to wait, and that's what she resented most.

Hikari walked into the underground training room without coming across anyone, this made her very happy seeing as these areas were strictly off limits; she wouldn't be bothered when trying to increase her own strength. At first, training with a blindfold had been hell. She stumbled and lost every spar she had for six months straight, however, once she got the hang of relying purely on sound, her Taijutsu skills slowly began to increase; this pleased her immensely. Hikari took off the deep crimson sleeveless knee-length jacket, that laced in the front like a corset, she wore over her loose fitting creamy white shirt and tossed it to the ground; she didn't feel like getting the fabric sweaty and dirty. Next, she took off the loose fitting shirt and had nothing on but her mesh shirt and the black bra she wore underneath; this was something she regularly did for training. She still wore a skirt, but it wasn't like a miniskirt anymore, it didn't frill out at the ends and instead of it being white, it was also deep crimson in colour. The Capri's she wore were made out of stretchy ink-black fabric and hugged her legs very tightly. Once she was satisfied with her clothing she took a pair of chopsticks and threw her very long hair into a sloppy bun, all of her bangs sweeping to the side and framing her face with silky black tresses. If only her aubergine eyes were visible to match. Hikari rolled her shoulders and then walked over to the wooden practice post, starting to threw her fists forwards as she went through her usual routine.

Sasuke didn't know why the person know as the 'Hebiko' interested him so much, but there was something about her that made him follow her. Over the past year she had done little things that made him want to figure her out; mostly things that seemed familiar, yet distant. He realised that he was very curious as to what colour her eyes were. He wondered about the possibility of them being amber, like Orochimaru's, or some other exotic colour. Without warrant, lustrous violet eyes invaded his mind, and he remembered the smiling face of the most important person back in Konoha; he suddenly felt like he was betraying her by being so curious about this girl named the Hebiko. However, he knew Hikari was someone who would never forgive him, and that was one of the things he tried to avoid. Perhaps this Hebiko girl was a way of forgetting. His thoughts brought up self loathing so fast that he didn't realise he had been hit by it until the damage was already done. However, no matter how much he hated himself, he didn't stop following the Hebiko through the winding hallways of Orochimaru's layer. He wasn't really sure where she was going, mainly because this portion of the hideout was restricted, and he had never really had any interests in it. Eventually, she stopped and did something that was very reminiscent of looking around her, but he knew better than that; she was listening to her environment. He wondered if she had heard him at some point even though he had taken extra caution not to be heard by her. He felt tension leave him when she continued walking into one of the rooms. He silently slipped through the door behind her, careful not to disturb the air around her or make any noise to give away his presence to her. She didn't falter when he passed through the door, just continued into the center of the room. Sasuke suddenly felt another awkward tension when she started removing her clothing, but it wasn't a tension of fear, but one of lust; he couldn't deny her beauty. By now, he was really letting the thought of using the Hebiko to forget Hikari creep into his mind; he had never been so haunted by any other person but his brother,

and he didn't like that Hikari was now on his mind almost as much as his brother. He looked at her body, covered by nothing but a few garments. Again, Hikari came into his head, the time he had first really laid eyes on here; she too, was beautiful beyond comparison. He turned to leave, deciding against getting involved with the daughter of his teacher. He was used to getting whatever he wanted, but he felt this might be going too far. He just wasn't willing to admit that his heart was sick with memories more than any other disturbing facts he knew about the Hebiko. He sighed and lifted his hand to the door knob but suddenly stopped when he heard the alarming cry of her voice. He turned around and saw that she was attacking the wooden post. Her voice vibrated throughout the room and was somewhat familiar to him, almost as he had heard her once very long ago. He discarded the thought and assumed he must of heard her one of the times he had seen her sparring with Orochimaru; he never really did stick around long enough to memorise her voice, so this theory made sense to him. As he watched her lilith body attack the post, he found that he was compelled to get closer to her. He took slow steps towards her and watched as she lifted her leg into a high kick and broke the wooden post. She swore lightly, and then scowled. He thought she would be more like Orochimaru in the way she spoke and moved, but he was surprised to see her individuality shine. It was something that he imagined would be hard to keep when no one even knew her real name. Suddenly a force came over him, and he moved towards her so fast that it didn't even register. She threw a punch towards the air, now practicing stances, but he caught it. The Hebiko frowned as she looked up towards where he was. He wondered if she was blind for a brief moment, and then cast the thought away.

"Get lost," she demanded as she yanked her fist away. Sasuke blinked, but then let a small smirk pass his lips.

"Make me." The Hebiko growled, and then initiated he fight, throwing a kick towards his shoulder, which he blocked with his forearms formed into a 'x' shape. He was surprised she could kick that high, seeing as the top of her head only came to his eyebrows. A throaty growl passed through her lips as she lowered her leg slowly. Sasuke wondered briefly of what she was doing, but then had to make quick effort to block the open palmed jab towards his chest. He grabbed her wrist and then pushed her away from him. She tumbled backwards, and began to fall. Sasuke was surprised she wasn't ready for a serious attack, but despite this he quickly jerked his body into motion and then caught her before she hit the ground. His brow quirked when he saw her lips lift into a pompous smirk. The Hebiko reached for his arm, and then used his leaning weight against him to flip him behind her, and herself too; however, she used him as a balancing means and landed behind him, while he spun to land on his feet.

"That was dirty," he stated with a frown. Sasuke stood at full height and then advanced on her; he expected her to attack him, but he was shocked when he saw her step backwards towards the corner of the room, she was afraid of him which struck him as odd. He suddenly felt an overwhelming sensation to ease his curiosity and see the entirety of her face; he wanted to see what her eyes looked like behind her choppy black bangs. He walked her into a corner and then put both hands next to her head, trapping her with his body. He heard her breath hitch, and he was suddenly attacked with a feeling of familiarity from her mannerisms. Again, she was so similar to Hikari. He could imagine the sparkling aubergine eyes behind the blindfold swimming with suspense and longing with his closeness; Hikari would have been anticipating his kiss. Suddenly, he couldn't resist temptation. He reached around her head and lightly pulled on the hanging thread from the knot, feeling it come free. The blindfold slide from her face and hit the floor soundlessly. His insides clenched and he swallowed his shock whole. The aubergine eyes reflecting the torchlight of the walls were no trick of the mind or re-enactment of memory, they were too different from the way they'd used to be for that to be the case.

"Hikari…" Hikari's eyes swam not with anticipation, but regret, and uncertainty. Hikari swallowed and stood utterly still. Sasuke couldn't help himself, despite trying to push down everything he felt for her for the past year, he missed her above everything else and now all the small pieces that had once been a mystery to him were falling into place. He couldn't take seeing her body in action and being this close now, however, he stopped himself, for the time being, from advancing on her because of how hollow her eyes looked. He suddenly understood why she had been so cold to him that day, and now that he realised just who he was getting power from; he didn't really blame her when he thought about it. Sasuke leaned forwards and touched his forehead to hers and also brought his fingertips to her cheeks, feeling them as he did the night he left Konoha. He was trying to not only comfort her, but himself too. Now that he was right in front of her, his longing swelled within. He hadn't realised how much he missed the softness of her skin until he was touching it again, and suddenly, he didn't want to let go. Cupping both cheeks he leaned forwards to kiss, her something he had been wanting to do, but was stopped in his tracks with a sharp pain stinging the side of his face. He blinked and turned his head back towards hers and saw tears sparkling in her eyes; why was she crying? Hikari suddenly pushed him away from her and then ducked under his arm. She jogged towards her clothes and then scooped them up, heading towards the door.

"Wait! Hikari!" Hikari turned back at him with a snarl curling her lips.

"Don't say another word." Sasuke bit back his words and watched her slip out of the room with longing eyes. He realised something utterly new in that moment; now that she was back, he wasn't going to let her go again.