Disclaimers: Don't own Naruto...*slits wrists with a cheese grater*
Pairings: SasuNaru, ItaDie, NejiGarr, FugaMiko, and others.
Warnings: Don't read if you can't handle 18+ material. End of story. I don't want to look up and see my story deleted. If you can't hang…DON'T READ! There will be sex…hard gay sex. Maybe even some hetero if I'm feeling up to it. Who knows? *kanye shrug*
Summary: It's been three years since Sasuke's exile, but he's back and with a plan in mind to take back what rightfully belongs to him; Naruto Uzumaki. By any means necessary. AU Highschool Yaoi
Flashback or "Flashback"
By Any Means Necessary
Chapter Three: Tale of the City Cat and Country Mouse Pt I
She was eight when she realized life wasn't fair.
Until that year Mikoto was a stout believer in karma, and in the notion that good things happened to good people. Those were the ideals and principles that her mother instilled in her since birth, and the legacy of her teachings that Mikoto's father, Gin Katsu, abided by later on life.
Katsu was a hard working man that always had a smile on his worn face, and kind word on the tip of his tongue. He was a simple man, from simple beginnings and was liked in the community. Although a poor fisherman, Katsu seemed to be in a never ending state of bliss thanks in part to his beautiful wife.
Not much was known of her, and if you asked anyone about the woman that married their poor fisherman, they would be unable to describe anything about her besides her remarkable beauty. Whoever she was, she made her husband happy and that was really all the townspeople cared about. A happy Katsu was infectious, and that infection was deliriously contagious to all the people that had the blessing of knowing him.
Nevertheless misfortunate struck, as it so often does to those who are happy, and Katsu's joy was taken away with the sudden illness of his wife. Lack of funds made medical help an impossibility, and there was nothing Katsu could do but look on in agony as his wife's health continued to deteriorate.
She died, leaving behind a distraught husband and a young daughter of eight.
Perhaps then, with the passing of her mother who had been the apple of her eye, and the joy of her father, Mikoto should have realized that life wasn't the fair playing mistress Mother had always led her to believe. But life went on no matter how hard, and no matter how much Mikoto and her father didn't want it too.
And then she was fourteen, and her father fell ill.
It started with a simple, yet persistent cough that seemed more nuisance than actual threat. Both father and daughter thought nothing of it. Then the coughs became worse, rattling Katsu's strong frame and leaving him breathless for a few minutes afterwards. The coughs were followed by cold shivers on hot days, high fevers that were too stubborn to break, and a stomach that became as irritable and bad-tempered as Susanno's (1) sea storms. Mikoto was worried, but her overly optimistic father played indifference until he became bedridden.
Once again the meager family found themselves left to the mercy of the gods. With Katsu unable to work, Mikoto had thought to leave school and get a job. It wasn't like school did much for her anyways. She was surrounded by girls that mocked her, saying that she always smelled like fish because of how poor she was. And even though it made her father proud, making the highest grades in her year, it did nothing more than seem to prompt more of her peers' scorn. There was only one girl that seemed to have it worse than herself, some wild boisterous girl, with loud red hair.
Mikoto hated school, and said as much to father. Of course he only tried to placate her with thoughts of the bright future she would have thanks to her education. How was she to escape poverty if she didn't have an education? He always asked that question, and Mikoto always protested vehemently. She didn't need much, and being poor had never bothered her. She had foolishly thought she was winning the battle, dwindling her father down in to agreeing with her until Katsu smiled sadly with tears in his eyes.
"Because I did not value my education as I should have, I have been destined to lead a poor man's life. Because I led a poor man's life, I was incapable of properly taking care of my family. And because I was incapable of taking care of my family, your mother died. "
Mikoto never brought up the subject of quitting school again. Besides, no matter how good her grades were, she wouldn't have enough money to pay (2) for high school. Rather by choice or circumstance Mikoto's education would come to a halt next year (3).
In the mean time, it was up to her to make ends meet. After being declared unfit to work, Katsu was given a monthly check which was even less than his normal paycheck. On the best of days, money was pinched horribly thin. Still Katsu resisted the idea of Mikoto even getting a small job in which to help, and instead decided upon inviting his brother to come live with the small family.
And life went on, no matter how hard, and no matter how much she didn't want it too.
He wasn't sure how old she was when he first saw her. Couldn't be older than sixteen, of that much he was certain. The long ankle touching skirt was the standard look for young respectable girls still in (4) junior high school. So no older than sixteen. The thought made him cringe. He was a grown man of twenty-three, but there he was, sitting across the street in a café waiting for this little chit to walk to school. It was wrong and sick, and for the first time in his life Uchiha Fugaku actually found himself disgusted at his own person, and questioning his sanity.
But then she would walk by, and it seemed to him that the entire world stopped so that he might focus his attention on her for the ten seconds it took for her to walk past his cafe window before she was out of sight. Her hair was a beautiful shade of true black, that even unkempt and dull, was still very pleasing to the eye. She was tall for a girl; maybe five and seven. He imagined she towered over most of the girls in her class. It wasn't often he saw her full face, but the profile was enough for him. The skin was smooth in texture and creamy in color, contrasting against the tired dark eyes and chapped peachy colored lips. She was of course missing the woman's body, but that would come with time. All in all she was comely enough…for a girl no older than sixteen. But it wasn't her unremarkable beauty that seized his attention.
It was her walk that captivated him.
He had never seen anyone, man or grown woman, that walked with such purpose and intensity, let alone a girl so young. Head back, neck erect, shoulders tight, and fist clenched. She looked as if she was marching off to war, or heading to fight some giant and formidable foe. Fugaku wanted to know what she was fighting. Who was she up against?
His initial thought had been that perhaps she was bullied at school. Children, although naïve and untouched by the cruelty of life were capable of being heinously unkind to outsiders that entered their school yard. And although she was very different, the epitome of an outsider, he wouldn't insult her by thinking her unable of dealing with kids. Because even without knowing her, he knew of her resolve. It was plain to see in every step she took.
Perhaps it was life that she was fighting. Yes, that seemed much more appropriate for her. Life was a battle that most people feared fighting. Instead they drifted through; following the path easiest followed, never going beyond their comforts or fears to seek something different.
Apparently for the majority, different was synonymous with bad…but not to him. Different was better.
And she was much better than that coquettish, empty-headed twit his parent's had engaged him too. Breaking marriage agreements were highly frowned upon, and considered shameful. But Fugaku didn't care, and he knew his father wouldn't deny him his wish. The traditional birthday wish when one became eighteen and took up the office as Law. On that day Fugaku had not wanted anything, deciding instead to hold on to his metaphorical golden ticket until the time was right. At last his patience would be rewarded.
He knew from the moment he glimpsed her striding down the street that he wanted her to walk like that beside him. Determination, strength, fortitude, and purpose; she had the makings of a grand woman though she was a mere child now. The girl was strong, which was a good thing. She would need that strength to make it in his world and with his family. Society would be unkind to her too. Forever she would be looked upon as the poor girl that broke off one of the most highly anticipated marriages of the past decade. Behind closed doors they would mock her, slander her, and probably even hate her. And the more daring ones would do so to her face. But he would give her the right tools in which to fight back, and help perfect her armor so as to not be brought down by their jibes.
She only needed some refining and cultivation…things he could make happen. Anyone with the audacity to fight life and their circumstances deserved a little assistance. He only needed a little leverage in which to persuade her. By the end of the day her life would be bared before him in a manila folder, and his leverage would be an easy choice to decide upon. Everyone could be bought…it just depended on the person and what they valued.
Buy her, bribe her, blackmail her…whatever it took.
Uchiha Fugaku wanted her.
The girl would be his.
It was four months till her fifteenth birthday when Mikoto's life changed again.
It was her last year of school. As predicted there were no funds in which to pay for high school. Katsu kept persisting that somehow, someway things would work out for them. But Mikoto had long since given up the idea of miracles. They didn't happen to people like her. If they did than a miracle would have saved her mother, or at least it would have healed her father. But he just kept getting worse. At least with the end of school she would be able to find a paying job and help take better care of her father. She wasn't unrealistic with the options that would be left to a young girl that hadn't completed her education, but the reality didn't scare her as much as she thought it might.
"Ahhhhh… if it isn't the fish girl-"
"Hey fish girl, you're far away from the ocean. Are you so pathetic that even the sea god couldn't stand you?"
"I bet that's what happened."
"Go back to your shack Mikoto. You're making the school smell like fish!"
Inwardly Mikoto rolled her eyes. Would they never think of something new to say? The same insults had been hurled at her since the first day of junior high school, and had long since lost their sting. But even the strongest of trees tired of the wind constantly trying to blow it down. She was a poor fisherman's daughter-apparently that was some sort of crime. Without sparing them a glance Mikoto continued on towards her locker, intent on getting her books and heading back home.
'Only two more months of them and their cackles.' No more mean girls. No more snide remarks. No more insults, no more-
"Did you see it? There's a limo in front of the school!"
"I wonder who it's for."
"Maybe we have a new rich student!"
"No stupid. If it was a new student, they wouldn't be coming at the end of school."
A limo? Well that was strange. Quickly Mikoto closed her locker, and headed for the exit. Outside she could barely see the supposed limo through the throng of her curious at least it was distracting her loyal antagonists so that she could make her escape. Walking down the street towards the bus stop, Mikoto began her routine checklist. Father would want to hear about her day, Uncle would demand that his clothes, dinner made, and then clean up the house, homework needed to be completed-
"Girl. Come here." The voice seemed really close; close enough to startle Mikoto out of her inner monologue. She was surprised to see the limo going at slow pace right beside her. Framed by the window Mikoto spied a very distinctive and regal looking older woman. Her hair was pulled into a tight bun that left her beautifully sculpted face open to be envied and admired. The makeup was tasteful, the lips full, and the eyes bright and criticizing. At once the protective wall around her emotions was erected. She had been on the receiving end of looks like that all her life.
It was obvious that the lady was speaking to her, and although she wanted to ignore the lady, Mikoto was brought up to be polite. She stopped and the limo stopped with her. Turning to face the woman, Mikoto gave a small respectful bow. "Can I help you?" The woman snorted with derision, already displeased with Mikoto for reasons she couldn't possibly fathom. They had never met, of that she was sure. There would be no way she would have forgotten such a person.
The limo door opened. "Get in the car. You're presence is required. " Something about the way she said it gave Mikoto the feeling that lady wasn't all too pleased by the requirement.
"Please forgive me, but I'm not allowed to ride with strangers, and am expected home." Another bow and Mikoto started walking once more.
"Insolent child! Have you no proper respect for your betters?" Betters, not elders. Did the woman really think that she was better than Mikoto just because she was heartbreakingly beautifully and obviously wealthy? Of course she did. Everyone else did, why not her too.
"Apparently not. Once again, please forgive me." This time the younger girl didn't stop walking, and she didn't bow.
Too much for the still anonymous woman to take, she gracefully got out of the sleek black car. She was surprisingly short. Then again…everyone was shorter than Mikoto. But the lack of height didn't make her any less intimidating.
"I am Uchiha Momo..."
'Peach, (5) doesn't seem like a very apt description of her. Perhaps prickly pear would have been a better name', Mikoto pondered.
"…and you will get in this car…if you care anything about your poor, sick father." Mikoto stopped abruptly. What did this beautiful hag know of her father? And how could she possibly help him?
"Got your attention now, have I? Good. Now get in. You're making an unsightly scene."
As if drug by some invisible force, Mikoto slowly turned around. Just like the woman said, her classmates were all watching from a respectable distance with avid attention. But she wasn't any more concerned about them as if it were any regular day. This woman could help her father…and all Mikoto had to do was get in the car?
So she got in.
The ride was long and could have been uncomfortable with the silence that permeated the vehicle. Thankfully no talking was done in the duration it took for them to reach their destination; a small common looking restaurant. The limo stopped and the driver opened the door for Momo. Mikoto followed her out and into the eatery, all in silence. They were headed towards a booth that was secluded from the rest of the establishment. Privacy. Mikoto spied an older man.
He had a very strong face that bore no smile, and Mikoto instantly knew that he was somehow related to the dragon woman. A nephew perhaps? Whoever he was, he had the same cold eyes as the older woman. They looked at her in the same light as the woman had; instantly appraising her and finding her unworthy. But there was something else there too. Mikoto wasn't sure exactly what it was.
But she didn't like it.
She didn't like him.
He stood and gestured for her to sit, which she did. Mikoto assumed that the woman was going to sit too until she said, "I've bought the little chit. She's disrespectful and less than ordinary. I don't know what you see in her. I had expected something better of the person you're choosing to ruin your life over."
He didn't take his eyes off Mikoto as he spoke. "Stop being so dramatic, Mother." Ahhh, so the dragon had a son. Uchiha Momo huffed delicately before sauntering out of the restaurant.
"Please excuse my mother," he said in a deep monotone voice without the boring quality. It was clear that the statement was made on the premise of politeness, and that he didn't really care if she cared about his mother's rudeness.
Mikoto didn't know what to say, so she remained silent. The stranger took that as his cue to continue. "You're name is Gin Mikoto. You're fourteen. Highest in your class and getting ready to graduate in two months." It was very odd and surreal to hear a stranger rattle on facts about you. It made her uncomfortable. How did he know all that information? "Your mother died when you were eight." Her breath stopped. "And your father is deathly sick with no prospect of medical treatment." Her eyes began to water.
How dare this man who somehow knew everything, but still knew nothing, speak so casually about her family. But he did, and for the first time since her mother died Mikoto was very, very afraid. Was he a spy? A social worker? Did he plan on making her leave her father, because she wouldn't! Not ever…no matter what.
"I have a proposition for you." Mikoto wanted desperately to flee…to not hear what else he had to say. But her father-
"Marry me," he commanded.
Unable to control it, Mikoto let out a small hysterical laugh. This man was crazy. He couldn't possibly be serious, although his face screamed otherwise. Yes he knew who she was, but she didn't know him. Who was he? How old was he? Was he kind? Where did he live? Why did he want to marry her, young, poor, and unremarkable Mikoto? It made no sense.
"No," she said shakily. She wanted to leave and pretend that this never happened. That the limo never came to her school, that the woman never spoke to her, that she never got in the car, and that she hadn't been asked by a strange man probably ten years her senior to marry him.
He continued on as if he hadn't even heard her refusal.
"In return I will pay for your continued education at whichever institute of your choosing, so long as it is acceptable of someone of your newly acquired station. I will also make sure your father and uncle live comfortably, and pay for any medical treatments that he might need."
"No." This time he acknowledged her answer with a bored look and the lighting of a cigarette. He took a drag and Mikoto watched in fascination as the smoke wafted from his nostrils. He was a dragon too, just like his mother.
"No?" He seemed more quizzical of her answer instead of offended.
There was a long silence in which he studied her whilst continuing to smoke. Mikoto could only tolerate about two minutes of the silent intensity before standing up in an attempt to leave. But she could only take a step before his words sent her crashing down again.
"I do not know you, but I did not think you would be a selfish person, Mikoto-chan." He used the suffix mockingly, as if her answer was the sad result of her tender age. "You've already lost your mother…"
"Don't speak of her-" she whispered, back still towards him.
"…but now you have a chance to save your father."
"I said don't talk-"
"Perhaps you mother's death didn't bother you and you really don't care about your dad at all."
"I do care! You don't know anything!"
It happened quickly, too fast for her see. One minute he was sitting down puffing away at his cancer stick. And the next, a calloused hand was gripping her chin, jerking her around until she was facing him. He was standing, towering over her with a cruel look on his face as he stared down at her. There was only a moment to marvel at his surprising height. Had didn't seem that tall when he was sitting down.
"I. Know. Everything." He wasn't yelling, but it seemed like his voice was roaring in her ears…the only thing she could hear. "Let me tell you what I know. I know that your life is very bleak. You have no money to continue your education, and no money to take care of your father. You father will die soon without help, but perhaps his death means nothing to you. If you are fortunate, maybe he will be able to secure you a marriage before he dies; some poor fisherman, just like your father that will have nothing to offer you. You will whelp as many children as he desires, and for poor men, that always means more than they can afford. And perhaps after your children are born, you will be too weak from childbirth and your husband will have no money to give you the medical attention you'll need. And do you know what happens then? Of course you don't, but I'll inform you how this sad, pitiful tale of your life plays out. You die. Just like your mother. And the circle continues on."
Sometime during his cruel prophecy Mikoto had begun crying. She could feel tears running down her face, an evidence of her weakness and inability to do…anything. She couldn't save her mother. Couldn't continue on in school. Couldn't help her father. God, was there anything she could do?
That hand gripping her face loosened, finally letting go even though Mikoto swore she could still feel his fingers on her skin. His image was blurry thanks to the moisture clouding her eyes, but she knew he was studying her again. Finding her unworthy, just like everyone before had. She was just Mikoto; a poor fisherman's selfish daughter. She didn't want to drop out of school, or marry a poor fisherman. She didn't want to have lots of kids that she couldn't take care of. She didn't want to die. She didn't want her father to die. But it was set in stone. No matter how much she tried, life never seemed to be on her side. Was it her lot in life to reap nothing but sorrow and loss? She didn't want that. But how…how could she break the cycle?
There was no way.
But could she really do it? She didn't know this man, but she knew she didn't like him. His eyes were cold, his voice too domineering and his tone too commanding. He didn't seem the type to smile, and most of all, he frightened her. It was undeniable; he had power. And he was evidently unafraid to wield it. What if he was mean to her?
Could she take it?
Could she endure whatever he demanded from her, sacrifice herself to this dragon?
School ended. Mikoto graduated at the top of her class, much to the vexation of her peers. Three months later after her fifteenth birthday, Mikoto was married to that man, Uchiha Fugaku. For that, her peers really hated her. Though you wouldn't have been able to tell with the way they fawned over her and tried to repair the past three years of damage they had done to her. It was so terribly ironic. For once Mikoto had something they envied, and she didn't even want to rub it in their faces.
They had all come to her wedding ceremony. Fugaku's mother had been in charge of the whole event and decided that it should be the biggest affair of the year. Something about making up the difference of quality in the bride, with quantity of the guests. Mikoto later found out that her husband had a long standing engagement to another woman, and Momo was very unforgiving about having to break it off. For that…she blamed Mikoto, and if they're tentative relationship hadn't already been shitty, Mikoto was sure that the matriarch would have gladly taken the blame. But Uchiha Momo didn't really like anyone so she never it took it personal.
The ceremony was long and arduous. She had never been one for dreams and fairytales, as it seemed such things would always be out of her reach. But all little girls dreamed of their wedding day. Even her. Thanks to Momo, it became more than a reality. It became a farce, something ironic and laughable to her. The whole ceremony went by in a blur of unfamiliar faces, and politically diplomatic congratulations for the newlywed couple.
The reception was, like the ceremony, a fantasy dreamland come to life, once again courtesy of her mother in-law. Even if Mikoto didn't really enjoy it. The food had no taste, the music had no sound, and the people had no faces. It was like she was on autopilot. She knew she got through the ceremony, and the reception, she just didn't know how.
The bedding was…unexpected. Mikoto knew very little about what happened between man and woman. That was a mother's job to teach, but with her mother gone before Mikoto was old enough to have that particular lesson, she was instead forced to endure the almost ritualistic foretelling of her wedding night from some of the older matriarchs of the Uchiha family.
From what she understood, it was supposed to be horrible. The man was supposed to…mount her, as she had once seen dogs do in the streets. And she was supposed to bare his weight and his intrusion until his lust was sated.
As many times as it took for his lust to be sated.
The prospect seemed simple enough at first. She had gone to her separate room as instructed, and put on the nightgown laid out on the bed before crawling underneath the covers. She waited, in the dark room. Waited for him. But the darkness of her room had crept in and stolen her strength. And it seemed like with each passing moment, dread and fear began to creep out from the confines of her heart as her mind colored itself with apprehensive thoughts.
What would it be like? She had never been kissed, or hugged by a man that wasn't her father. She had never even seen a man unclothed before. She envisioned a man naked upon her own naked flesh, heavy, and suffocating her underneath his desires. Would it hurt? It seemed impossible to think otherwise. Would it be over quickly? She hoped so.
The soft sound of feet coming down the hall seemed much louder than normal. Between the footsteps and her heart hammering in her chest and the blood rushing in her ears, Mikoto was sure she'd be deaf soon. She knew it was him. Coming to claim his rights and consummate their marriage. And her pride demanded that Mikoto meet him head on, eyes locked and without fear as he came into her room.
But she couldn't remember how to be unafraid, and as the door slowly slid open, Mikoto clenched her eyes and feigned sleep. His footsteps grew louder with each step he took until finally she could feel him standing beside her.
There was a slight dip in the bed, and Mikoto was unable to prevent herself from flinching. He was getting close. She could feel warmth against her side, tense, and her breath momentarily faltered when she felt something slightly rough and warm press gently into the side of her temple.
A pair of lips?
And then just as suddenly as the specter appeared, the warmth was suddenly gone, and the sound of feet returned, only to grow faint until Mikoto once again heard the distinct sound of a door sliding open and close. Surprise made dark eyes shoot open, only to reaffirm that she was once again alone. But not, completely alone as she had once been, for there was a beautiful geisha doll laying beside her.
Mikoto knew little of her husband, but surely the gesture of giving a gift to someone was a good sign. And he had left. It would be to presumptuous to think that he would never come and claim his rights and Mikoto knew that when he did, she would have to acquiesce. But tonight he had left her alone, and she was thankful.
His gesture, both the doll and the unspoken one, made Mikoto think. To be honest, she had not really contemplated giving her marriage a try. She had decided that she would survive and do what was required of her with as much dignity and respect as she could muster. That had been the way her father had raised her, and she would not shame him by acting uncouth. But the idea of actually trying had not crossed her mind. She had not wanted to try getting to know her new husband, or become integrated into his world. Mikoto hadn't even planned on trying to be happy. She just wanted to survive. But maybe, just maybe, this stranger to whom she had just married did want more. For her. For them.
She would express her gratitude to him for the doll tomorrow. It truly was beautiful, undoubtedly the finest thing she had ever owned. She would also attempt to look at her new life with a more optimistic outlook. Perhaps the dragon's son was not all that bad.
And with Mikoto's new found revelation, she quickly succumbed to sleep. Tomorrow would bring many new things.
But tomorrow would not bring her husband. Nor the next day, or even the day following.
Mikoto would not see him again almost three years later
1. This Susanno is the real Susanno from the Japanese Shinto religion. He is the Lord of the sea and storms, and has nothing to do with Sasuke's Susanno from the anime.
2. In Japan going into high school is like going into college. You take entrance exams, and in some cases, pay to attend.
3. The Japanese school system in broken up differently than the western one. School changes (ie. middle and high) are divided by threes. So instead of their middle school being seventh, and eighth grade, its seventh, eight, and ninth. Respectfully high school is tenth, eleventh, and twelfth.
4. Would be our 'middle school.'
5. Momo means peach in Japanese.
Ok, so this is really late lol. Just so you know, I haven't abandoned anything! Just busy as sshhhiiittttttt! However, for those reading 'Big Bad Wolf,' I'm thinking of changing …well everything about it. From the plot, to some of the characters. As in Tom won't be the other leading male role. So if, you have read, let me knew how you feel about me revamping it please. The new idea I have in mind still deals with the theme of werewolves, but everything else would be different. I don't want to start another story, especially one that would be somewhat similar. So let me know how you feel about it!
So this chapter was just a teasing glimpse into the background story of Mikoto and Fugaku. I also wanted to showcase a little more about the wish, from his point of view. The 2nd part of their story wont come to later. For some reason, I LOVE breaking up flashback scenes like this lol. Not to mention I'm sure you guys are just itching to see Naruto soon ^_^
Next Chapter: Sasuke's comeback can't begin without the help of a friend.