Hey all! The Detective Prince here, who else would it be? Not much to say really as it's only the first chapter but since my Persona 3 Portable story (That's still being worked on but it's on a little break while I sort things out with it) I've been using song lyrics for chapter titles so I'll have to use this space to write where the various titles come from. Also, I know the beginning seems a bit fast paced but it all clears up later on.
This chapter's title comes from the Portal 2 ending song 'Want You Gone'.
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, if I did why would I be writing fanfics? The only thing I own is Yukiko Ginhana, my OC. Enjoy and review! Remember nothing can get better without a good review!
Under The Circumstances...
The moon was dousing the world in its silver glow as snow gently drifted down to coat the ground.
Several ninja were shifting through the forest of the Land of Fire and one particular platoon was from the Ginhana clan. It was a covert mission that they'd just completed and were heading back to the Land of Water where their stronghold was.
"Yukiko-sama, I'm sensing several ninja up ahead..." one of them whispered to their leader, a white haired young woman with pale skin and crimson eyes.
"Can't you tell from this snow? It's a blessing, we'll be fine," she hissed with a gentle smile. It reminded her of their home and she hadn't been there in weeks now. "We'll get all of this sorted with the Water Daimyo and receive our payment. It'll be a big one this time guys, no fighting for at least a month! Hope you've all got plans!" she laughed, landing on the ground with a crunch and signalling the others to wait.
She stood up, glaring around her and raising a hand to cover her mouth which had become a bit of a habit for her.
Her dark blue top stopped just above her waist, leaving her midriff and the sleeves were draped over her hands to conceal shuriken better. Her hair was tied back loosely yet left her bangs to frame her face and her side-fringe to hide her right eye.
"Actually, guys, you take the east path and I'll deal with the shinobi up ahead," she turned and gave them a thumbs up. "That's an order,"
"Right," without a single disagreement the group left her to handle them alone.
And on a count of three...
Yukiko burst through the trees and into a clearing, she quickly counted six ninja.
"Ice style: Deadly Hail," several sharp icicles shot out as she drew the katana tied around her waist.
A fireball was hurtling towards her; swiftly she dove to the side to avoid it.
Dammit! Fire users, of course!
"Water style: Tearing Torrent!" the spiral of water that spread from her hand extinguished the flames effortlessly.
"Well that was interesting!" one of them laughed; he had dark blue hair tied in a pony tail down his back and pale skin. He was apparently the one who'd shot the fireball, judging the smoke he was still exhaling.
"Good to know I can entertain!" she leapt up to one of the trees.
"That's not what I was talking about..." the man disappeared, a whirl of wind came from behind Yukiko, catching her off-guard.
She tried to swing her katana back at him only to feel a sudden thud at the base of her neck. Slowly she heard her katana hit the branch of the tree but her vision was fading to black.
"See you soon..." his voice was smooth and yet there was darkness within his words.
She was unconscious before she even hit the ground but she remembered the snow. No matter what was going on around her, the snow was calm and gentle. She hated it.
There was a ringing in Yukiko's ears as she slowly became aware of the world around her again and at the same time didn't have the energy to open her eyes.
"I thought as much..." that smooth voice again and a much livelier one.
"I'll notify him right away, sir," click, a door was shut.
"I know you're awake," slowly she managed to open her eyes; it was a dark room, an emblem of a fan on the wall behind the man who'd knocked her out.
"The...Uchiha?" she groaned, suddenly aware that her hands were tied behind her and that there was something draining her chakra on her exposed stomach.
"That's right...Standard procedure is to kill any enemies on sight but I noticed something. When you drew your sword there was a few drops of a clear liquid that came off of it. Now either your sword was wet, which I doubt, or you keep it in a sheath filled with poison, which I found out was true. Ice and poison is an awfully harsh combination. I recall a ninja from the Land of Water using it before...Ritsuko Yuki. I doubt you're her though as she's in her fifties now..."
"Dead." Yukiko interrupted, her voice still strained.
"Excuse me?" he tilted his head to one side with a polite smile.
"Ritsuko Yuki is dead. She died about half a year ago..."
"Ah, well then you'd be her daughter?" she gave no reply, she just glared at him. "That's a yes; I can go check records if you want. It's really no trouble except that I wouldn't mind killing you afterwards..." he was still giving her that polite smile even when threatening to kill her.
Dying here wouldn't be the best idea...I have to get back to my men...
"It's Yukiko...My name is Yukiko and I am her daughter," she sighed, trying to look down at what was draining her chakra.
"No, Yukiko Ginhana. She married the head of the Ginhana clan, Isamu Ginhana..." the Uchiha took a moment to ponder on this.
"Isamu Ginhana...Isamu...Isamu...Ah...Yes, he died a few years ago during an attack on us...He was acting on an alliance with the Senju which is still in place isn't it?"
Yukiko made no reply to this either she just continued glaring.
"Which would make you the head of the Ginhana? I knew there was a reason I found you so interesting...Well I'll be back in a minute," the Uchiha practically bounced out of the room.
Yukiko quickly discovered all her shuriken had been removed and her small sword she'd kept stored down her knee length boots. She did, however, manage to sit up and notice a seal on her stomach keeping her chakra at the same level she guessed a baby would be born with.
The ropes binding wrists together were tight enough that she thought she'd lose complete blood flow to her hands if she struggled. Someone had cut her sleeves to elbow length to keep her from wriggling out from beneath the material of her top.
She recalled a conversation with Tobirama Senju in which he called the Uchiha not only the most brutal of all the clans but the lowest as well, doing anything to win no matter how despicable it was. Quite simply, a clan of warriors with no pride.
How did I end up like this though?
It was racking her brain, doing her in completely how she had managed to be taken down to easily. She quickly realised she had no one to blame but herself. Her elation at completing her mission so efficiently had made her cocky and it just so happened to be an Uchiha that had caught her on her mistake.
If she could have, Yukiko would have buried her face into her hands and screamed in frustration. But as it so happened she was unable to do that due to her prior cockiness and so that left her feeling more frustrated. It was a vicious cycle.
The door opened again and the Uchiha was back, smiling still.
"Ah, Yukiko, it's your lucky day..."
"That means you'll let me go?" as her mother always told her if you don't ask you don't get.
"No, but we will let you live. You hold valuable information on the Senju and Madara..."
No honorific...Who's this guy then?
"Wants you to tell us all about the Senju," he continued, kneeling down beside her.
"And if I refuse? Then do I get killed?" Yukiko was doubtful it would end well for her.
"No. We won't kill you, but you won't have a clan to go back to..." Someone knew something about her, that's all she could conclude.
Her clan was her responsibility. She did everything to ensure their safety and so killing her would have been fine but slaughtering her clan was something she couldn't allow.
"You really are a bunch of warriors with no pride..." Yukiko hissed. It was a stupid mistake but when cornered even the most placid of animals will still hiss and spit, even if they're lowering themselves to the ground in fear at the same time.
"I wouldn't say something like that in front of Madara, that wouldn't be wise at all," he grabbed one arm and pulled her up. "I'm Izuna by the way. I'm second-in-command here,"
She was led down a corridor with members of the Uchiha clan gawking at her, pointing and laughing. It was probably one of the most humiliating things she'd experienced. Yukiko felt it best to just keep her head down and try not to snap.
Soon she was in a throne room; sitting on a large chair at the end of the room was Madara Uchiha in all his arrogance. That was the first thing she noticed, the way he was eying her was with a smug look. The most frustrating thing being that she couldn't say his smugness was exactly unfounded.
As she stood, then kicked to kneel, in front of him she could practically taste the dense chakra surrounding him. Not only that but she had to keep repeating to herself that he was head of one of the strongest clans in the world and knowing he could fight Hashirama was even more reason for her to keep her wits about her.
Then another sickening thought crept into Yukiko's mind.
He was practically holding her clan hostage and yet at the same time she refused to betray the Senju after all they'd done for her clan.
This man, this powerful beast of a man, was scum in her mind.
"Ginhana, Izuna's told you what we want from you," his voice reminded her of thunder, a deep rumbling of some unfathomable force of nature. Yet she stayed strong.
"I can't tell you anything about the Senju...At the same time I can't let you slaughter my people..." he smirked at her.
"Well then you're in quite the dilemma...Either that or you're just not taking this seriously..." he nodded to someone behind her.
"I assure you, Madara, I'm taking this seriously but surely there's some middle ground here...Something I can give you that sort of compensates..." there was muffled groans from behind her and when Yukiko turned around her blood turned to ice.
Daisuke, one of the men in her platoon, was thrust down before Madara. He was bound and gagged and the sight of the blood and bruises almost completely covering him was sickening.
"Daisuke!" Yukiko felt a rush of helplessness like she'd never experienced before. His emerald green eyes looked at her, pleaded with her to help him but what could she do?
Madara picked something up from the side of his throne and approached Daisuke.
It shimmered, even with nothing just torch lights running along the wall. It shimmered like diamonds were incrusted into the very centre of the blade, the blade her mother had given her, Kiyoshi.
Madara rested the blade against Daisuke's neck.
"Please don't..." Yukiko begged.
"The information you have?"
"I can't!" he brought the katana up and then...
It was a sudden reaction and she had no idea where it came from. The world was slow, the sharp sword slowly falling...Yukiko had only one option, launching herself up and knocking Daisuke out of the way. Had it not been for Madara's Sharingan she would have almost certainly been killed there and then.
"Don't you dare think about using my own sword to kill him!" she warned, they were nothing but empty words though. She was still tied up.
In one easy kick she was flung across the room, hitting the wall with enough force she was left coughing up blood.
"Remember this, Yukiko Ginhana: I'm not the one killing this man, it's you," was all he said before ruthlessly decapitating Daisuke.
Numb, Yukiko was suddenly aware of how numb she had become whether it was from shock or fear she had no idea. She felt so numb she didn't even feel the tears falling from her eyes as they cascaded down her cheek.
"...Why?" That was what she could muster up. Madara approached her; Yukiko was desperate to just sink into the wall behind her.
"Perhaps, we've rushed you too much. Ponder the death of your clansman tonight...We'll see if your allegiance to the Senju is really that strong," he knelt down in front of her, a smirk still on his lips as he placed two bloodstained fingers on her cheek. "We'll see..."
Yukiko was lying in the room she'd woken up in before. She was no longer tied up but with no chakra, weapons and the door locked and guarded there was nothing she could do to solve her predicament.
Instead she sat, cross-legged, in the centre of the room in deep thought. Her mother had always warned her about these situations. Her words ringing in her mind over and over again.
Never ever compromise the clan! They are the people who depend on you, Yukiko and it is your duty to protect them...
At the same time her mother had told her never to sell out their allies and that if she did she would have no clan to return to.
The answer was staring her in the face, she pulled out a small necklace of a rose that her father had given her.
Tonight we all go to hell, father, she thought to herself, looking out of the barred window to the stars. It was still snowing.
A foreign country did nothing for her hatred of the snow though, if anything it intensified it. She stood up and looked out properly.
All Yukiko needed now was the courage to try to strike a bargain with Madara, one that he would undoubtedly not be able to refuse...It would have to be a win-win scenario for him.
"I'm so sorry, Daisuke..." she whispered. It wasn't like she'd get any sleep tonight, no it was better for her to stay awake and practise again and again until what she had planned was engraved into her mind.
By the time Izuna walked into the room, Yukiko was clearly exhausted. Exhausted but there was a look in her eyes that told him that this promised to be an interesting day for him.
"Come, come, Yuki-chan," his smile had returned and the spring in his step seemed to intensify. She said nothing; she didn't want anything throwing her off the script in her mind.
The walk to the throne room was a little less humiliating this time, maybe because she wasn't wallowing in self-pity this time.
Madara was sitting in his throne once again, still exuding confidence and power.
"Yukiko, I assume you've chosen the only plausible option,"
"I want to suggest a deal to you, Madara-san..."
"Madara-sama," he warned, Sharingan activating.
"Madara-sama ," if only she could have spat his name...If only. "I'll declare allegiance to your clan instead of the Senju, I can not give you any information but I assure you..." he got up and strode towards her.
"You honestly think I care about your pathetic excuse for a clan? Clearly you have no idea who you're talking to," she tried desperately to but couldn't match his gaze.
"I refuse to endanger my people...If you don't kill my clan then the Senju will! What kind of choice is that?" Yukiko wasn't the type of person to shout but she felt as though no one was listening to her, why would they listen to their hostage though?
"Tell me what you know about the Senju and your clan doesn't die in vain," he laughed. It was the sort of laughter than made her shudder.
"I refuse..." she glared down at the floor.
"Fine. Everyone, leave," the Uchiha had evacuated the room so quickly and efficiently that it left her feeling as though they'd rehearsed it.
The kunoichi looked back in mild amazement.
"Look at me," his voice now a fierce growl. Yet fear stopped her, keeping her crimson eyes trained on the door.
"Look. At. Me." He suddenly had a hold of her throat, forcing her to look him in the eyes. Those red eyes...His tomoe spun and morphed into a new shape completely.
Yukiko couldn't describe what she experienced in words other than she was thrown into Hell. It was terrifying, painful and completely indescribable.
Her body was burned by fire, her mind tortured in unimaginable ways.
She fell to the floor, trembling and hyperventilating. She'd been placed in genjutsus before and had been quite good at dispelling them and yet she had been unable to fathom reality from illusion in that place he had shown her.
That fiery place with bloodstained snow...
Her tears refused to stop and her voice still failed her.
She looked back up at him; his eyes so deeply grey they were almost black were just staring down at her with something like disgust.
"How selfish...And you call yourself a clan leader. You know what you must do,"
"No...If I do then I can't protect them anymore..." Yukiko's voice was shaky however she'd at least managed speech.
"From what I've seen, you haven't protected them so far," he knelt down again, a hand on her throat once more but he didn't tighten his grip yet.
"I'm impressed you got through Tsukuyomi without your spirit breaking but surely even you know you can not hope to defeat me," that fear in her was ignited again.
"I..." she grabbed at his wrist. "I'm not going to become a traitor or something subhuman like you," the grip he had on her intensified.
"You really think you're at liberty to insult me, Ginhana?"
"You think you're at liberty to kill me and threaten the lives of my clan?" the oxygen was slowly being sapped from her, causing her vision to blur.
"You're nothing but a fool who stumbled onto the position of clan leader by blood,"
"You're just a murderer...So where..." Oxygen, she needed oxygen! Yukiko could feel her body begin to go limp.
"Fine. I'll have to strip you of that title then,"
Everything went black, the last thing she could recall was Madara's mocking chuckle to himself.
Ah, Yukiko, you naive fool. Izuna took a lot of work writing since he's practically a blank slate other than "compassionate, harmonic" and what he did for Madara so in the upcoming chapters he gains quite the personality. So hopefully you'll join me next time for the next instalment of A Fresh Snowfall.
Next chapter title: When Everything's Made To Be Broken!