Insperation: Mumford and Suns, Of Monsters & Men, Florence + the Machine and other kickass bands.
Of Monsters and Men: A Dream left Unsaid
Summary: When she is what the monsters of nightmares want more than anything else, Sakura should have been smarter and stayed out of the woods. Instead she thinks that buying a cabin where her fahter hung himself just for her writing vacations is a good idea. Now the village beauty will have to learn the price of playing a tune for monsters and men. Another Sakura Harem fic with multiple pairings, mostly SakuraUchiha~ Please enjoy and review.
"Howling ghost they reappear, In mountains that are stacked with fear
But you're a king and I'm a lionheart.
And in the sea that's painted black, Creatures lurk below the deck
But you're a king and I'm a lionheart.
And as the world comes to an end I'll be here to hold your hand cause
You're my king and I'm your lionheart."
"You," she seethed, suddenly returning to her senses and struggling in his hold.
"Don't pull away from me," he cooed in a soft timber that made everything around her seem like just another shade of gray, without demission. His voice was powerful and magical and probably the only thing that mattered to her. "Don't leave me now."
"I should have know, I should have known I saw one of you the last time I was here. You were dancing with me and you tried to take me away that time too, but it wasn't..."she let her words trail off, recognizing her own mistake. "No, I remember you. You aren't like them. You were the exiled, the one without red eyes."
"Which is why you shouldn't be so scared of me, delusional child."
His cloak seeped off and away from his shoulders to encircle her in a hold that was warmer than the exposed air. With one arm he let her go and reached up to trace the edges of her face, dipping with the curves of her cheeks and tracing the lines of her jaw. His own eyes seemed to widen in wonder.
"Sai, you need to let me go. I need to get back to the others... they'll know I'm missing," she tried to explain, feeling shivers run down her body in v formation, starting with her neck and shoulders and ending with her toenails. He made her feel like she touch a live wire or something with all that magic in him.
"They won't know anything," Sai hummed, still busying himself with the features of her face. His fingers slipped down to her neck and tickled the area between her jaw and shoulder. She shivered and he grinned.
"What do you mean they won't know anything?"
"See for yourself, he nodded to the area behind her.
When she glanced behind there was nothing but grass and field for as far as her eyes could see. The fairy lights and the lanterns from the dance should have been so much closer, and she should have been able to see. But there was nothing, not even trees for what seemed like miles.
"What did you do?"
He grinned, bending his head down to her collarbone. "I took you out of the human world. There was no reason for you to remain there. You're here to run away with me," he explained.
Before more could be said, his lips pressed against her flesh, chilling her at the sensation at her neck. He moaned into her, kissing the spot again and again before trailing down her shoulder and then back towards her collar. "Sakura," he moaned into her flesh as she whimpered against the attention. "Stay with me forever like this. Only like this."
"I have to get back, let me go," she pleaded.
"You would leave me."
"Yes." She gasped when he nipped the lower lobe of her ear. "I don't belong here. I can't stay."
"You could belong here," he offered, pulling away with eyes wide and dark at the same time. "There is no one else to complete me. You could remain with me, as mine, and then you would never have to leave."
She whimpered in fear. He controlled space and time, and she knew it. If he didn't want to let her go he didn't have to. "Please Sai, take me back home. I wanna be home again."
Emotion flashed in his eyes, hurt, rejection, confusion. He was such a blank face that the only way she could tell was by watching the lights in his eyes tighten and expand. "No," he finally said. "You don't understand. You can't leave until you understand."
She protested, pushing against his alabaster chest, crying out his name, but he was deaf to her pleas while so focused. He gathered her in his arms, lifting her like a bride, and seemed to fall back into the earth with her captivated. The earth swallowed them whole, opening wide to devour them before spitting them right back out into thicker darkness. Sai landed was a tap, and shifted her in his embrace.
"Look and see..." he whispered to her ear.
She glanced up and saw only darkness.
He breathed words, ancient and cryptic, into the air, lighting the fires of a hundred tiny torches running across the room in elaborate flourishes. With the room illuminated, Sakura could see she was underground in a cave that emptied into a water way, strangely identical to the Phantom's lair from her favorite musical. But Sai's cave was unique for one major reason, or a dozen tiny ones.
"Is that me?" she asked, already knowing the answer to that question before it left her mouth. Along the wall were huge canvases painted with pictures of her. Between them, hanging from any free space, were sketches of her, among other things.
She saw one of herself asleep. Sai had painted flowers around her face and placed her in a sinking boat, perfectly in accordance with the burial customs of norse cultures. 'Ophelia' was the title under the painting. It was one of the more haunting pieces as the lines of water had begun to seep up the sides of her face, lifting her hair in an airy dance around her head.
"You did these," she breathed in awe. "When?"
The quiet monster shrugged, looking to his painting of Ophelia. "That one was done right after you left. I though you had gone for good. It was an attempt to immortalize you. I was lonely and needed the company."
It the painting had been any less beautiful she might have been a bit creeped out, but somehow she understood the troubles of the imortal beast. "Why me? You haven't been able to answer that."
He couldn't meet her eyes, and slunk backwards a bit. "I don't understand humans. I was raised away from sentinel contact and character. I was raised by the natures and knew nothing of the emotions you and my own kind use. I hated anything that felt anything, including you. But I..." he looked to the side and she saw a wealthy collection of books spilling out from the walls and shelves. "But I liked books. I lived in them, and I understood them."
"That doesn't make sense," Sakura said, having a hard time following. Sai had just said he hated her, that he hated everyone who had emotions. Where did that leave him and how did he end up so enslaved with her memory.
"You were a book," he finally admitted. You became a character to me and crossed over into my world of understanding. I could see you and from then I became what I am now."
She narrowed her eyes, a sinking suspicion filling her chest. "How did that happen?"
He looked up and there was a them of sorry to his eyes. "You wrote everything down. Days and days were spent just devouring your thoughts. You loved writing and did it every day for me. That was how I knew you."
Her eyes blazed with shallow rage. "You read my journals!"
"I had to. I had no one and...I could not resist that temptation of a new understanding. I wish I could say I am sorry and I regret invading your privacy, but that would be a lie. I can't go back to that time of unknowing and all consuming hate. I needed something to love. I needed some one to know."
"And you found that in me?" Sakura asked, hating how this was making her feel.
It would have been so much easier if he were a complete jerk she could write off without thinking about his real situation. Solitude was hell, she knew that. The kind of singular existence he was talking about was something she couldn't even begin to understand. To hate the whole world like that and have nothing to love was like...it was hell, as simple as that.
"Don't leave me," he pleaded, face freakishly still as emotion flooded only his eyes.
She looked away and shook her head, not able to say no, but not willing to say yet. He approached her in her moment of uncertainty and fell to his knees before wrapping his arms around her stomach and resting his head against her body. "You may do as you wish with me, command me, betray me, do whatever you want. I will sustain anything if only you would stay with me. Stay here."
"I can't, Sai. I have a life out there. You can't keep me here like this."
His arms tightened around her body, and she had to steady herself by grabbing his shoulders. He wouldn't look at her, but he didn't do anything to make her think he would listen to what she really wanted. But he surprised her.
"I'll take you back, but only after tonight. Sleep here, eat with me and keep me company if only for a night and I'll take you back. I can be learn to be content with that."
"It wouldn't be like you would never be able to see me again," she murmured, not really believing what she was saying. "When I was younger...it was like that with the others. I came out at twilight to play. Do you remember?"
He nodded, relaxing into her. "I remember everything about you. It is all burned into my memory." He looked up at her and almost smiled. She could see it in his eyes, but not on his face. "Thank you."
He gathered her up once more and carried her off to a side room where a bed was made up out of a hole in the ground filled with pillows and comforters of the finer qualities. Against her first belief, it was actually quiet comfortable and calming to rest across from him as he saw against the wall and watched her.
"I will watch over you," he explained. "Rest now."
Counting all different ideas drifting away. Past and Present they don't matter, not if you sort it out.
He had been content to watch her, to study her, to observe ever insignificant detail about her. That was all he really needed to find hope and joy in his life again. So sitting across from her in his makeshift nest, wide awake while she slumbered dreamlessly, Sai felt like he had just passed over the moon.
The hours passed and she moved only slightly as he refused to stir. It was only when the vibrations from aboveground penetrated his dwelling did he first shift. His first move was to crouch over Sakura and protect her if the need arose, but so far the only danger seemed to be displaced dust.
"I can smell you," he growled, scenting another figure approaching.
Sasuke stepped out from the shadows, letting his black feathered wings drop back into their folded position on his back. Even without the wings he looked terrifying with messy, wind blown hair and dark shadows over his red colored eyes. Feathers had begun to sprout along the side of his wrists as nails elongated into claws.
"You," he seethed, glaring at Sai with everything he had. "You f*cking dare..."
Said kept his emotions calm and made sure to keep his face in check. It had been years since it last slipped and exposed any emotion, but with Sakura there was always that possibility. "You don't have a right to say that to me, Sasuke. She chose to stay tonight, here with me."
"Only after you abducted her!" Sasuke hissed.
"That doesn't matter!" Sai cried back, sounding a little desperate, like he was trying to connivence himself jut as much. "She chose me. She didn't run away. She'll never run away from me."
Sasuke seemed to find power as he watched Sai slip. "You were planning on keeping her here all along, weren't you. You never had any intention of returning her back to her home with the other humans. Shit, you thought you could keep her here forever, didn't you?"
Sai's eyes hardened, but he said nothing.
No denial was as good as a confirmation. "You can't keep her here forever like a bird in a cage, no matter how gilded it is."
"You speak as if you are any different from me. You can't claim to be so righteous when there is nothing more you would want than to keep her for yourself. That's our curse, isn't it?"
Sasuke lifted one hand and put the other close to his hip, where the hilt of a katana rested. "Yes, that is our curse, but you are not one of us, outsider." On that last word his pulled his blade free and slashed the air, sending waves of wind Sai's way.
The painter crouched lower over Sakura, protecting her from the blast, spreading his own feeble wings over her body. She stirred under him and awoke at the sound of everything falling apart. She gaped at his position and tried to see behind her for whatever it was that was making the mess, but Sai held her down.
"Don't look," he whispered like a prayer.
"Get off of her!" Sasuke roared, charging with his own hand to dig deep into Sai's body.
For as much as he would like to have ignored the emotion of agony, his pain was too great, and Sai raised his head to cry out as his wings were torn down his back.
"Sai!" Sakura cried, suddenly feeling protective of him. There was so much blood falling off of him, some of dribbled down onto her chest as she sobbed a coked little cry at the scene.
Sasuke wasted no time and pulled Sai back before throwing the artists against a far wall. Sakura cried once more and rose to aid him but she was pulled back by Sasuke's free arm. She screamed in fear and anger, kicking and jabbing her elbow into whatever she could. It was no use, since she was so small and weak in comparison.
She felt herself be turned over and folded up across his chest as he darted one way out of the room and into a wider cavern with a hole leading up to the surface. His midnight colored wings spread themselves and lifted him up high into the warped night.
"Bastard," she sobbed into his shirt. "You killed him. You killed him. How could you, you freaking killed him...Sai."
She heard him grunt and felt the echo in his chest. She tried hitting him once more, but her arms were boneless with worry and he was holding her too tight for her to do anything serious. It wasn't long before he was gliding down onto the decking of a much larger house, styled after the Japanese palaces she had seen in her old World History class.
Once he was standing, she pushed against him, eager to be separated from him. But he wasn't in a hurry to let her go anywhere away from him.
"Let me go, you freak," she whined, still struggling. "Murderer."
"I didn't kill anyone," he grumbled, more annoyed than upset with her accusation. He almost seemed to be pouting. "He isn't human, so he can survive something like that easy enough. He just won't be able to follow us...not like he really even could with those pathetic wings of his."
"Then let me go."
He pulled her back, closer to his chest. "No, it's not safe for you out there. It's nighttime. You should stay here for the time being."
"I was fine where I was," Sakura said, glaring up at him.
"No you were not," he said, watching as she stilled in his arms. "He would have never let you leave. You were trapped there for all intents and purposes. If I had not come down to get you, Said would have never let you go. He might not be such a creepy guy, but he won't let go of some things once they become precious to him."
Sakura swallowed hard, remembering how he tightened the hug back when she said she wanted to go home. She thought it was odd how easily he would let her leave after going through the trouble of abducting her in the first place. People in lore didn't usually come back after being spirited away.
"He said..." she feebly attempted before stopping. She knew it was no use arguing with this new person. She knew Sai had been lying to her now. She just didn't want to believe it about someone she felt so protective of. She was messed up like that.
"You don't have to feel bad about it. You did nothing wrong. And besides," he leaned down a little bit to look her in the eye. "You're safe now. I'm not going to keep you trapped here."
She glared at him with renewed distrust. "How can I possibly believe anything you say. You could be just as bad as Sai for all I know."
He blinked, stepping back one half step, keeping his hands on either side of her arms. His eyes were wide. "You don't recognize me? I was young so I grew, but don't you remember me, Sakura?"
"Sasuke," he breathed, taking her arms. "You used to play with me when your dad left you out at twilight. I couldn't come into the sun but you still played with me in the forest. Back then I was so small I could come out more often, but you didn't mind. You played with me and Naruto, the fox brat."
Sakura shivered, shaking her head in denial. She remembered something about a fallen angel and a feral child who could follow her in the form of a red fox. Both of them were creatures that couldn't be called human. No one believed her when she told them the stories, but that didn't mean they weren't true.
"No," she breathed.
But Sasuke saw it. He smiled at her reaction and brought her hands up to his face, kissing the knuckles. "I think you do, liar."
"You were a kid!" she protested, trying to pull her hands out of his, but he held her tight without being bruising. "Let me go if you such a good guy."
"I told you already," Sasuke answered, searching her turned away face for any sign of recognition. "It isn't safe at night for you. You should know that well enough without me having to tell you. But...why are you trying to get away from me. I though you would be happy to see me again. You remember how much fun we used to have together, don't you?"
"You're scaring me here and now, and that's all I need to know I think," Sasuke bit back, shaking a bit from both the wind and her own fear. He noticed.
"Here," he whispered, stretching one wing out and angling it around her before boxing her in with the other to protect her from the wing. Heat rolled off his silk black feathers, warming her right away. He stepped closer to her, closing the gab between his two wings. "Let me keep you warm."
"You're still frightening," Sakura admitted, unwilling to look him in the eye. "I remember what you can do. I know you're violent. Not as bad as Naruto, but still bad enough to do something like that to Sai or me."
"I would never do anything to hurt you, Sakura," he protested, grabbing her face in his hands, letting her hands fall to her side limply. "Everything I do these days seems to be in order to protect you. No one is more important to me."
"Sai said almost the exact same thing. And Naruto was like that when we were younger. What is it with you monsters?"
"I don't know," he admitted in a breath that came out sounding reverent.
She watched as his eyes searched her face and felt the movement in his body before he actually leaned in and took her lips for his own. She made a sound of surprise and it only served to encourage him. He wrapped one arm around her waist and moved the other to tangle in her hair.
"Sakura," he breathed in between kisses, whispering her name against her lips before forcefully parting them. A slick line traced her lower lip and a nip surprised her enough to sneak it in. The feel of his tongue twirling against her own made her weak. Her chest heaved and her stomach flipped. Suddenly it wasn't only his feathers that made her warm.
He moaned into her, feeling quite the same way, murmuring her name like a drunk at the steps of an alter. He pressed their bodies together and moved against her, causing her to make another noise of surprise that came out more like a meow than anything else, even though she hadn't mean it to.
"Sasuke,"she tried calling his name, hoping to get him to stop. But he heard his name and thought it to be something entirely different. The sound of her voice and his name was too divine a thing in his opinion.
Something boomed behind them before things could go any farther. Sasuke whipped his head around and pulled Sakura all the more closer to him, protectively holding her smaller frame.
"Damn it," he cursed, glancing down at the base of the mountain where a singular figure made a ruckus of fire and explosions. Sasuke laughed at the sight. "That brat, I told you he wasn't dead. I should have been harsher, but there he is, up and kicking. Satasfied, Sakura?"
"That's...Sai?" she asked, suddenly feeling guilty for some odd reason.
Sasuke shrugged, tucking her head under his chin, loving how perfectly she fit there. "No matter, he can't get up here, so there is no need to pay him any mind. He's grounded."
He kissed her ear and hummed something to her. "I love you Sakura."
She was seized with fear and doubt. Sasuke was worse than Sai, there was no way he would ever let her go at this rate.
Thankfully the next blast was powerful enough to rock their platform. Sakura took her chance and kicked Sasuke hard where she was sure he would be most hurt. He grunted in pain, crumpling. When he looked up again, Sakura was gone, disappeared into the darkness of his home. His home shared with both Itachi and worse, Madara.
Regrets collect like old friends here to relive your darkest moments
I can see no way, I can see no way, And all of the ghouls come out to play
And every demon wants his pound of flesh. But I like to keep some things to myself
I like to keep my issues strong. It's always darkest before the dawn
Her heart hammered like mad as the doorways and halls blurring into a mass of singular color. Nothing seemed to stand out to her as she ran like a blind bird at night. It didn't help that her shoes had long since been abounded and were probably still back with Sai. If she hadn't been so scared, Sakura might have been more upset about loosing such cute slide ons than she already was.
How had this all happened?
Her heart nearly gave out and she had to tumble to a rest in the middle of a side hallway. Her palms hit the cold floor in an attempt to break her fall, but it only served to hurt her wrists more. Sakura had probably never run faster or farther in all her life, and she remembered being quite the runner when she was younger.
She rolled over on her back and stared up at the ceiling, still unable to move.
"This can't be happening to me," she breathed aloud. "I had all but banished those memories, why now?"
Something flickered over her head and she turned around to get a better look, only to freeze. The shock rammed into her chest, seeming to shatter each rib and pierce both lungs at once. Her throat went tight and her tongue stuck to the roof of her mouth.
Down the hallway, the rafters held the tied end of thick, gray roam that had spent a night out in the rain. At the end, the rope had twisted into a noose to hold her father's head.
She cried out, tears filling her eyes. Quickly she rubbed them away only to look up and see emptiness. that was right...dad was long gone. There was no way she could see something like that and think it real.
"It's just because I'm so messed up," she said to herself as she pulled her lugs up underneath herself. "I'm seeing things."
At least it wasn't Pein. After his death she woke up to see the back of his outside her window on more than one occasion. He had never turned around to look back at her, just like she never saw the face of her father when he showed up. It was always their backs, and she knew why. Because she refused to face them...too busy with running away from them.
'They were both my faults,' she screamed inside her head, no matter how much she wanted to deny it. She had told herself time and time again that it wasn't her fault her father killed himself, but when Pein passed there was little she could do to connivence herself otherwise. And it didn't help that his parents even blamed her.
He had been under her window that night, throwing stones up at the glass to get her attention like in all those cheesy romantic movies and taylor Swift music videos. He stepped back into the street to throw another stone when the truck without headlights rammed into his side. At his funeral, everyone commented on how sad it was for him to be hit on his walk from the school to his house, she was the elephant in the room no one would look at.
"I'm sorry, Pein," she sobbed, hating how the love got stuck in her throat, never able to get past that point in either life or death. "I'm sorry, don't forgive me, but I'm sorry," she sobbed into the woodwork of the floor.
His face was still so vivid in her mind. His lips, pierced though with bolts that came out in elegant curves from his chin. The bridge piercings and the ear rings...he was such a scary fellow at first glance, it was hard to remember him in a suit even though that was what he wore most often. He said he liked being a contradiction; the businessman with face piercings. He was made up of defiance and determination to forever conquer.
He was successful, charismatic, intelligent, and beautiful. The world was his, but for some reason he wanted her. And for some far odder reason, she resisted for almost a full year before accepting him as a potential husband.
She cried into the wood and heaved another shaky breath.
"You hear this news? They found a diamond ring still in the box the night he died. Seems he was going to pop a question to that girl of his," one man said to another in the back row, never knowing they sat next to that very girl.
The only thing worse was seeing Konan there, crying like she as the widow or something. His parents held her and told her comforting things as they cried right along with her. They were the special circle there that no one was allowed to enter into. They were the ones who morned most.
No one seemed to remember how Pein and Konan separated in their junior year over another small argument that had been blow out of proportion. After that he never looked at the same way, no matter ho hard she tried to get him back.
Sakura remembered it all clearly enough, since she was there, taking creative writing classes in order to get her bachelors in English Lit. He was there for his second bachelor, in this one in Communication, and only a few of their classes overlapped but he told her it was enough for him to notice and get caught.
And all the suffering that you've witnessed, and the hand prints on the wall
They remind you how it's endless, how endlessly you fall
And the answer that you're seeking for the question that you've found
drives you further to confusion as you lose your sense of ground
So don't forget to breathe don't forget to breathe
Sakura slammed her hand down against the floor, hurting herself more than the wood.
She wasn't going to go down that way. Memory lane was not on her list of places to see before getting home, and it wasn't going to be a priority in a very, very long time. Not until she was old and wrinkled, she hoped. Now she just needed to get home.
When she looked up and there was someone at the end of the hall, dressed in elegant robes with cranes painted along the sides. His hair was long and pulled back in a braid of midnight that looked like woven water. All she had to do was see his face and she knew who he was. Pale porcline skin, dark black eyes lined with shard of red, and a body flawless and tall.
"No," she breathed, scared for her life. This one was one of the older ones, judging by the curved back horns wrapping around either side of his head like a crown.
But oddly enough, he didn't move towards her, or make any motion to suggest he wanted to keep her like Sai or possess her like Sauske. All he did was raise his head a little and stare at her before speaking.
"Who are you to be in my home, young one?"
"S...Sa-Sakura. I was brought her on accident and I need to get back...to the human world, to my home."
"That is arranged easily enough," he admitted in a velvet tenor, taking a step towards her and lowering his head. "However, I would be unwise to offer services without compensation or gain. Why should I help you?"
She didn't know if she was more offended or relieved to hear his words. At least he wasn't bent on having her stay with him, that was refreshing enough. Too bad he was still haughty in demanding payment.
She squared her shoulder and climbed to her feet. "Because these lands are mine. You may be in the monster world, but this land is still just the underside of the soil registered to my family. You owe us a debt for that."
"Oh?" he took another step towards her. "And just what did you say your name was, child?"
"Sakura...Sakura Summerfield. My Mother's last name was Haruno."
She saw the eyes of the devil in front of her widen just slightly before beginning to cast her eyes downwards, not wanting to get caught in the enchantment she knew his kind could spin if they held your gaze.
That was what her nana had taught her when her dad wasn't home. Her father forbid any discussion on the folk tales he had been raised up with, but Sakura knew they weren't just stories. Only now was everything she learned beginning to come back to her.
"You are indeed a Haruno," he chuckled, lifting one hand out of his robe to tug the side closer. "I can faintly remember your mother being such a woman of wit and intrigue. She too, knew not to look a Uchiha in the eye."
"...I'm not going to be stupid. Even if you're obliged to help me, it doesn't mean you won't. Your brother wasn't very compliant even though he was more than happy to rip Sai's wings to shreds."
The new male smiled wide and almost chuckled. "That does sound like my foolish little brother. I am Itachi, an elder in this house. You may feel free to confess your troubles in my presence, I will keep the family honor and return you. That is our duty."
Sakura blinked. "Just like that?"
"Need you something else, bold child?" he teased, turning away and glancing over his shoulder. She could see the outline of his wings underneath his robe. "If you do not hurry I am afraid I will have to leave you here the night."
"You can take me back even though it's dark?" she asked, running to catch up to his long strides.
He hummed an answer before explaining. "I am not as weak as either my brother or that bastard offspring. Nothing in the night would dar approach me, even if I did have the spring's child in my company."
"Spring child, is that what you call me?"
"Yes, the woman who owns the monster's domains. It is a term we like to refer to you as. If a monster were to breed with you, the lands would no longer be so restricted, and we would have great luck for an entire generation."
Sakura froze where she stood, feeling a little sick. "Breed? As in...make babies?"
"Yes, that is the term."
Her stomach pinched and her face felt hot. No wonder they were all over her. She was stupid to think she was anything special. Why they confessed to her, and desired her presence, it was nothing more than a way to get what they wanted.
Itachi looked back at her, frowning. "Their affections were not fabricated, I assure you. Any Spring child would hold a natural pheromone that serves to allure the monsters of men to her. No one is immune to it."
He chuckled. "And that is including me, so if you really want to leave try and not be so adorable, please. This was already difficult."
She really didn't know how to take that, so she kept her mouth closed and just kept walking. The came outside to a garden with a large koi pond that seemed to run on and on, coming right under the porch. There were some steps on the side of the house leading into the koi pond that Itachi was standing next to.
"What is this?" Sakura asked, stopping to admire the moonlit beauty.
"This is my only peace in the world. It is here where my power is gathered and stored, making me strongest; this is my safe haven. I can send you back form here."
"Why do you need to do it here. Sai took me out in the middle of a field. Do you need to do something he can't?"
Itachi rolled his shoulders and let his robe fall to the floor in a milky puddle. With that gone, both his wings were able to stretch full and wide, reminding Sakura of a long yawn. "You could say that. In general, it is always easier to pull people into the world of monsters than it is to pull them out of it. But that is not the reason I brought you here. I have a feeling my elder brother, you would call him an uncle, will try to interfere. He is much more powerful than me at this late hour, but I can try to send you back over him."
"Hour?" Sakura echoed, remembering her grandmother pointing to a clock painting and explaining how the tites of their power could rise and fall with the shape and height of the moon. Each one was different. "Is this his hour?"
"Regretfully so, and mine has passed for the night. It is near morning now, come."
He held his hand out to her and she took it without hesitation. It wasn't odd or awkward like it was with Sasuke. His hand fit perfectly around hers, and she couldn't help but feel light at that thought. She was still a girl, after all, and he was probably the most attractive man she had ever seen.
As if reading her thoughts, Itachi suddenly smirked. "You make me blush, dear child. I'm flattered by your arousal."
Sakura gawked, pulling away from him. "What the? Why would you say...?"
"Your eyes," he murmured, touching the curve under her brow. "They dilated for me, and your scent spiked in just an instant. You shouldn't do that. I might not be able to resist one night when you are more willing."
"But that doesn't mean anything," Sakura said, turing pink in the face. Her ears were starting to burn too.
"How precious." Itachi hummed his approval and took her hand again, leading her into the koi pond till they were up to their shins. He then stopped and positioned her in front of him on soggy ground. The water was higher on her than it was on him because she was that much shorter than him. "I am going to send you back now, you'll fall into the water and wake up in the fields behind your house, so do not worry."
She nodded, following him. "Will I get wet."
His smirk was hard to miss. "Not from the water, no. It's my magic, it follows my rules. Are you ready?"
She nodded and he placed a hand on her shoulder and head. His lips inched closer to her ears to whisper a secret before something like vertigo took over and pulled her into the waters.
But she didn't wake up in the fields behind her house. She was in a grassy field, but it wasn't hers. There was no house, and she was frightened of what little she saw. She got up, perfectly dry, and turned around to see what she could see.
She froze at what she saw. He had three different types of horns crowning his skull, and very lonely eyes. She didn't know his name, but he knew her mother's.
"Hannah?" he asked, voice pained.
Somewhere deep in the dark
A howling beast hears us talk.
I dare you to close your eyes
And see all the colors in disguise.
Running into the night,
The earth is shaking and I see a light.
"You are the one Itachi warned me about, his uncle."
He looked her over and hummed, never answering. She didn't know if this was because he didn't hear her, or he was still too wrapped up in his own thoughts. She didn't get why he was talking about her mom though.
"You..." he began in a voice low and soft, as if it had a thousand years to be smoothed by churning waves. "...Are not Hannah."
Sakura took a weary step backwards, more on guard around him than Itachi or Sasuke. Itachi might have been more powerful, but he was sane and not prone to the emotionally charged outbursts his younger, weaker brother was. She didn't know how sane this new individual was, but she knew just by looking at his crown of hors how powerful he was.
He was also more elegant that his nephews, in ways Sakura couldn't understand. His face was just as pale and flawless, and his hair just as black a color. Unlike Itachi, Madara's hair fell in loose strands around his face and over his shoulders, giving him a wilder look of authority. His robes were not as heavy as the ones Itachi wore, allowing his feathery black wings to stretch free. Instead of only one pair, he possessed two, almost like a moth.
"What do you want of me?" Sakura asked, weary as ever.
He looked her over with tired eyes, staring straight into her face when he was satisfied. There was a long pause before he said anything, making Sakura all the more nervous.
"I did not bring you here to harm you."
She laughed. "Funny how often I seem to be hearing that these days. Words don't mean anything to me right now."
"If I wanted you dead you would be."
"You're not allowed to kill me, or at least you are not that stupid. If I die there is no one else to continue the legacy of my mother's family." Sakura smiled at the point she just made, feeling better about herself. "It might have taken me a while to accept what's really going on right now, but I know what I've been told."
"And that is?" he inclined his head, smiling encouragingly at her.
"Your land is mine; you're foreigners, displaced monsters with no land of your own. The only way you can stay here in this country on these lands is due to my kindness, and my mother's kindness, and my grandmother's kindness. I don't have to be afraid of you killing or hurting me."
Her words pulled a smile up out of his lips to grace his face. He looked so much more magnificent with such an expression that even Sakura almost faltered.
"Oh…If you have no reason to be afraid, then why are you shaking, dear bird?"
"I never said I didn't have a reason to be afraid, I just said I don't have to fear you killing or hurting me. But there are plenty of other things you could do that I would just love to avoid," she countered, taking another step back.
His smile only widened. "You are a delightful breath of fresh air, I'm afraid. I knew this would be difficult, but you're just so enticing. I don't know how I'm ever going to let you go after this."
Sakura pivoted on her heel and ran like the devil was chasing her. There were rocks and bits of rubble hidden among the grasses, but to Sakura that didn't matter. She pushed herself to go as far as possible in her bare feet.
At so late in the night, after hours of dancing and then running from emotionally excited mountain monsters, Sakura's body was worn ragged. Her breaths came out sounding deeper and deeper, feeling heavier and heavier, and tasting colder and colder.
It wasn't long before she collapsed into the grasses, allowing them to swallow her up and cover her over. Dirt stuck to her face where she lay, never minding how ruined her skirts probably looked. She was more concerned about the damage done to her lungs than anything else. They felt so bruised.
With energy she didn't know she had, she turned over on her side and glance behind her through tick lashes, as her eyelids were too heavy to lift completely.
The blurry figure of Madara Uchiha had not moved.
"You knew you couldn't get away from me." He sounded almost concerned. "Why would you try?"
"Let me go," she breathed, sounding a lot more at peace with his presence than before. There was surrender in her tone. No longer was she on the defenses, guarding her gates. Now she was wide open, and fully accepting of that.
"I would hate to lose your company, my love. You have no idea what a bore a home devoid of woman can be."
Was it her or did he sound more playful than before and less tired.
"And what makes you think I want your company in the first place? You think too highly of yourself, sir," Sakura murmured in reply.
She heard a rustling of fabric and peaked out from behind her lashes to see him lowering himself into the grass and dirt to sit beside her. It was captivating to watch his wings expand and stretch outwards from his body while he balanced a crouching position before finally settling down.
He caught her looking and grinned rakishly. "They are quite magnificent, are they not?"
"You are quite full of yourself. You might even be worse than Sasuke at this rate," she countered, lowering one arm to rest over her stomach.
Madara watched her stare up into the night sky, content to be silent for a while before finally speaking out.
"How do you enjoy my stars? They are almost as radiant as the originals I would hope. "
Sakura peeked over at him before gazing back up at Orion's full figure in the heavens. "A sky without stars is not a sky at all, I think," she admitted in a tired tone of voice.
"Aptly put, my love," he hummed in agreement.
A silence stretched out between them, broken only by the exhales of Sakura's still tired body. But this silence was not tense, and it was not unpleasant. Sakura was not exactly thrilled to be in Madara's presence, but there was something familiar about him that kept her from fearing more than she normally would have.
Maybe it was because she knew he couldn't hurt her, or that there was no use trying to break away from him. There was no more a point in running. Better yet to just wait until the dawn when the sun breaks her free.
She risked a glance over in his direction, but just as she expected, he was staring at her. She tightened the skin around her eyes, not exactly glaring. For any other guy out there she caught staring at her in such a way, she would have told them to take a picture 'cause it lasts longer' before flipping them the bird and sashaying out of the room like she owned the place. But that was no appropriate or even relevant behavior for the situation.
"Will you keep me here till dawn?" she finally asked, not enjoying his stare.
"As long as I can, love. I'm not exactly in a hurry to see you go, considering I don't know when I will see you next."
She remembered something Sasuke said about their ages being a determining factor in how much they could move about as well as how soon they could come out of their world. "…Can you not move until nightfall?"
"Worse, until the 11th hour," he replied. "In a few years' time it will be midnight for me before I can ever stir again. Already it has started to seize me beyond the appropriate time frame." He paused to reach up and stroke one of his curling horns. "This is the price we must all pay for power."
He grinned over at her, staring at her through his own heavy lashes. "Tell me about it. It wasn't a terrible problem until you showed up, bring to these lands something worth getting out of bed for. The world has dried up and no longer holds much magic, and thus, less meaning for us few creatures."
Sakura pushed herself up onto her elbows, secretly loving how the gunk and mud of the fields sagged and wrinkled up in piles around her skin. "Nana said we were magic people. She and I were the few who could still see things. Is that what you mean about the world drying up?"
He nodded. "But it is like that across the globe. We are entering the last days and the final centuries of existence, so I would assume it is to be expected. Still, I would be glad to perish before the world becomes too dreadful a place. I don't think I could survive loosing someone so dear to me again."
Pein showed up in her mind.
How nice it would have been to die before experiencing that agony over his loss. He was probably the lucky one, going without a care like that, leaving her and his family to drown in their tears.
"Sakura," Madara interrupted her thoughts, reaching out to touch her face. There were tears on her cheeks for his careful fingers to wipe away. "You are in pain."
"Aren't we all?" she laughed, not really meaning it.
"Did you love him?"
Her eyes went wide, surprised by how he could have known such a thing, but she didn't answer."
He stared at her long and hard, searching her for something. "As long as you are here, you will have need or want or fear for as long as I am able to move. You will be safe with me, love. I'll protect you."
"I'm fine, I don't need anything," she struggled to make out, suddenly feeling tired.
Something caught Madara's attention from behind her. He smiled, but it wasn't a smile that reached his ruby stained eyes. "Even so, I have a suspicion that I am not the only one looking out after you, love."
Before she could move, he pressed her back into the grasses with his fingertips and kissed her lips, wings expanding wide behind him. Sakura could have sworn she felt the sky move beneath her skin in that instance, complete with all the falling stars and lavender lightning bolts ever witnessed.
"What?" she breathed, still tingling.
Something like grass burst behind Madara, as the silver edge of an ax cut into the barrier between his world and the human domain. It was like watching the backside of a mirror shatter. Another violent swing ripped open a hole large enough for a full sized man to come through, but Kisame was bigger than the average full-sized man, so he swung again, brutally.
I'm not calling you a liar, just don't lie to me
I'm not calling you a thief, just don't steal from me
I'm not calling you a ghost, just stop haunting me
And I love you so much, I'm gonna let you kill me
"There's a ghost in my lungs and it sighs in my sleep. Wraps itself around my tongue as it softly speaks
Then it walks, then it walks with my legs To fall, to fall, to fall at your feet."
It was warm, and he smelled like sweet earth.
Sakura didn't think she passed out, but after the barrier between the two worlds broke down something in her mind began to bleed white noise over her memories, leaving her wondering as to how she ended up in Kisame's arms, crossing the open field behind her house to reach the back porch.
"Coming around now?" he asked, keeping his voice low and soft as he reached the path worn down at the base of the porch steps. "You had us worried for a second there when I found you there like that."
"Like what?" Sakura asked, pulling the covers of the blanket closer to her chest. "And what do you mean 'us?' was there someone else there?"
Kisame paused to catch the latch of her screen door and swing that out behind him before entering her house without issue. "No, I was alone, but I had help in finding you. The one who tried to send you back, Itachi, he warned me and sent me to where the barrier was weakest. I was pretty lucky, actually, since that Madara guy seemed weaker than what Itachi told me of him. I was able to get to you no problem."
Sakura murmured her thanks as he lowered her into a couch in the room across from her kitchen. The couch was old and threadbare in some places, but it served its purpose well enough whenever Sakura needed to use it, so she hadn't gotten rid of it when she bought the place back from her aunt, even though so many people offered to help her moving things out. A part of her liked the memories it held more than the actual piece, since it wasn't the most comfortable sit.
"How did you find me, I can't remember that part," Sakura said, watching as Kisame rose up and crossed the room to enter her kitchen. He pulled out a small cup from one of the cupboards and began to pump water into it. Once it was cleaned he filled it with filtered water from the fridge.
"You were awake, your eyes were open and you were breathing, but you were out of it, seeing nothing and feeling nothing. I tried to get you to stand up, but your body seemed paralyzed. It was a while before you could say anything again." He glanced up at her before replacing the filtered pitcher. "I knew they wouldn't hurt you, so I wasn't as frightened as I should have been, I'll admit. Here, drink this."
"Thank you." She took the cup and devoured its contents with a silent vigor that left it bone dry after a single breath. "I guess I needed that."
Kisame grinned, taking the cup back into his hands. "I don't know, maybe just a little?"
She laughed in response to his sarcasm. "Yeah, but no, seriously, thank you for everything. I don't know how or why, but I think you really saved my butt back there. I really appreciate that. Thank you, Kisame."
He nodded, looking off to the side as his cheeks turned an odd shade of purple instead of the usual red that humans had when they blushed. "S-sure. Yeah, it wasn't a problem, so don't worry about it."
She stared at him for a while longer, just studying him before she asked her next question. "That ax of yours. There was Hebrew written on the side of it. My father had a pair of hatches with the same inscription. Does that mean anything to you?"
Kisame looked up and then glanced down at the special ax resting against the wall behind the couch, right where he left it. "Have you ever heard the story about the clay golem from Prague? It's not very well know at all so I don't expect you to but-"
"No, I know it." Sakura interrupted. "My nana told me that story. A Rabbi made a man out of clay and brought it to life with magic words written on a tablet placed under the creatures tongue."
Kisame grinned. "You had a smart nana. But yes, that story is the best place to start. Like that tablet, my ax has similar words inscribed upon it in that same language. They were put there specifically for managing the monsters. my ax never dulls, never rusts, and is forever strong to combat such creatures. Your dad was, like myself, aware of the real world and kept a pair ox hatches for the same purpose, most likely."
"You knew my father?" Sakura asked with quiet wonder.
Kisame shook his head. "Very little. My old man was the one who mentored him, but your father went to pieces after Hannah died. Without your mother, everything he learned was just...not important anymore. It didn't help that my old man kicked the bucket soon after that."
Sakura leaned back in wonder, mulling over this new information. "It would make sense, I guess, since my mom was tied to this land in such a way. I wonder if he married her because of that."
Kisame frowned. "You don't think he loved her?"
"Oh no, I know my dad adored my mother with everything he had. She possessed his soul so fiercely even after her death, that can only mean he really loved her. But, sometimes people come together for one purpose and end up remaining together for another reason. He might have been close to her because of his work,, but he probably fell in love with her that way."
"I would like to think that way," Kisame nodded. "But that makes sense, since all the women of your family have been magically tied to this land, like a curse. It has since passed on to you, I'm afraid."
She nodded, knowing what he meant. "Yes, this is only the beginning. For the rest of my life, I will have to live with them while here."
" You won't leave, will you?" Kisame asked, hesitantly, scared for the answer maybe.
She just smiled at him. "I don't think I could even if I tried. That's my curse."
He nodded, digesting her words. "So, where does that leave you?"
Sakura inhaled, pilling the blankets away from her body and leaving the couch. Kisame watched her leave the room, and waited for her to return with a small wooden box she held between her hands. Once she was seated again, Sakura unlatched the front and lifted the lid, to show off a curved dagger made from the horn of a large deer or elk's antler. On the handle was inscribed the same magic words.
"This was for the women of my family. It's not an ax or a hatchet, but it will be enough to keep me safe after dark."
"I'll keep an eye on you too, don't worry," he offered.
She smiled and nodded, closing the lid once more on both her box and their conversation. Sensing the change in atmosphere, Kisame blushed once more and said he would excuse himself so she could change and get some sleep.
She watched him go before turning on the tub and letting her body soak for less than an hour. When she emerged, she was dressed in a peal white nightgown that choked her neck and followed her arm down in billowing sleeves before cuffing her at the wrists.
When she emerged from the bathroom, shaking water droplets from her hair, she wasn't alone.
He sat on the edge of her bed, with his guitare propped up over one knee and a smile brightly stretched across his multi pierced face. "In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die. Where you invest your love, you invest your life," he sang, bringing tears to her eyes. Her father stood behind him, smiling.
She choked and looked up again, to see her room empty once more. But there was a warmth there that hadn't existed in a long time. She felt free of him at last, finally able to accept that Pein loved her, and didn't regret anything about her. She was able to freely love him again, and feel proud of that. Her father was also at peace, knowing she knew enough to protect herself at long last.
If she listened close enough she could swear she heard his voice still, echoing in the woodwork and singing out of the floorboards like a perfect memory.
"I loved you Pein."
'I'll always love you, Sakura.'
But I will hold on hope
And I won't let you choke
On the noose around your neck
And I'll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I'll know my name as it's called again
Songs clips used (in order of appearance):
The Cave -Mumford and Sons
White Blank Page- Mumford and Sons
Little Talks-Of Monsters and Men
Rabbit hearted Girl-Florence+Machine
Home-Mumford and Sons
Roll away Your Stone-Mumford and Sons
I will follow you into the Dark-Death Cab for Cutie
Never Let Me Go- Florence+Machine
King and Lionheart-Oh Monsters and Men
Shake it Out- Florence + Machine
Breathe - Alexi Murdoch
Yellow Light-Of Monsters and Men
Awake my Soul -Mumford and Sons
The Cave -Mumford and Sons
~I'm always listening to music and discovering new sounds and artists. If you have any suggestions please let me know, I'm always open to new experiences and blends! My music library is always growing, little by little.
AN:/I did it!WohooOooOooooOoooo, I'm so happy and exhausted at the same time.
I will say it again. This is an entry for ShelbySabaku's contest that I decided to join...the other day. I actually saw sLiCeOfLiFe's amazing entry and was so inspired I just had to do something. (Make sure to thank her and check out her stuff.) But yeah, I had to write this like mad before the muse fell away and so it is rushed and I'm a little sorry about that.
I am so happy about how this ended. It feels more mature and neatly wrapped up. I don't know if I like it in the sense of a fanfiction, but I like it as a piece of written work bloomed out of an origional idea. Some of you probably won't like that, but I'm a pleased kitten.
I could have gone on and made this just like Mad House or My Uchiha Harem, but this story of sadness, loss and love needed to told through Pein and Sakura. I didn't want this to be all sunshine and rainbows, because that just is not life. Life is a piece of work you need to keep trudging through, taking the punches as they come and making the best out of it. On that same note, Life is also beautiful with forgiveness and new loves after old losses. I adore that about life and unknowingly wrote that in there. I hadn't planned for this to come out the way it did, but I like it. I'm also really please how I started and ended with one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite bands. I would encourage you all to go check out some of the songs.
REVIEW and tell me what you think.