\/\/\/\/\ The Reaping \/\/\/\/\/
Fifty-three. That is how many minutes it took for me to die. Seven minutes short of an hour of pure and unadulterated pain. I should have held on for another seven minutes, just to spite her. An hour longer than she said I would last. But, my body would not comply.
I was already floating in the air, before the first rain drop descended upon my corpse. It would have felt nice against my burned flesh. If only.
I am Sakura.
Or I was.
Before I was murdered, I knew for sure what I wanted. What I was positive I needed out of life. I had it all, fame, money and lots of adoring friends and family. But I wonder, if I had been a little nicer, maybe a bit less fortunate. Maybe….maybe then my best friend wouldn't have felt the need to kill me. But there are a lot of maybes in this world. And I'm not one of them.
"Say hello to Naruto for me, will ya?"
Sakura is dead, bordering between heaven and hell. In Limbo. But when she has finally decided to move on and not dwell in the world of the living, a dark shadow leaps from the corners of Limbo and snatches her body. Which come to find out, is still alive.
Just her luck to die when The Reaping is underway.
Sakura is propelled to the Otherworld, because without a body to clarify her death, she is unaccounted for. While she is dwelling in the land of the dead, her body and the mysterious shadow are giving her soul a bad reputation.
Sasuke Uchiha has just entered her body and is walking among the living. Sasuke Uchiha: Hung at the gallows in 1842 for manslaughter, for killing his whole clan.
Let the Reaping commence!
Chapter 2: Death is never pleasant
She was angry
That he was dead.
Angry that God had
Taken her only light.
I wonder if this is God's way of weeping
Every one hundred and fifty years, a special thing happens. The borders uniting the land of living and dead wanes, and those who dwell in between can see the land once forgotten. Life.
It is a glitch in the time stream, an imperfection. But one, nonetheless that the good lord refuses to repair.
"Our time in life is done but some have not forgotten, what it is like to breathe air and swallow food whole. The sinful and wicked will get there fair chance at life, for some have seen the light within the shadows. I will grant one admission every one hundred and fifty years. That is my peace offering. If the ghouls keep to themselves in the time between I will not banish Limbo. Every soul deserves a second chance, thus is the way of the Gates of heaven. I give choice to everyone. Good or bad. That I promise."
And so the land was bleached of shadows, and the shadows cleansed of light. Each in there own corners of the afterlife. The lord made his promise, and so every one hundred and fifty years, the borders were weakened and the reaping was born. And so that time has come again. Be prepared, the reaping is never pleasant.
Sakura's lips were icy, even as her tongue darted out to lick them, the bite of the wind made the muscle ache. Winter had come harsher this year, she was sure it had something to do with the earth killing her sun.
Naruto…her sun. Her everything really.
A slow frozen tear descended from the corner of her closed lids. She bit back a muffled sob and slowly trekked deeper into the frozen earth. Her need to find haven, only increasing when the wind picked up and the snow fell in a rage filled flurry. No longer was the snow gentle or kind. It was angry. Maybe at her.
Sakura's slender pale fingers slid up and down her elbows, she wasn't cold. Merely numb with emotion. But she was still trying to find some heat. Heat that would never be there.
Thoughts of death had crossed her mind but almost as soon as they had descended she had fiercely shaken them away. She was angry that he was dead. Angry that God had taken her only light. The snow fell harder. Maybe this was God's way of weeping.
Sakura was a god fearing woman but even she herself had her doubts. Her sums of rage that overwhelmed her. Had her cursing her beliefs. Even if deep down she knew it wasn't anyone's fault. Her only wish was to join him. She was sure he was her one and only. To join him quickly and not think of the long time that would be spent, feeling empty inside.
A frozen drop of rain landed on the bridge of her red rimmed nose and Sakura sniffed the air. It no longer smelt of warmth. Only death and a glacier finish of cold.
Sakura finally reached her car, her fingers fumbling to find the right key.
"Shit. Just open. Open. Open." Sakura chanted silently as each key after the last denied her warmth. Finally the last key, a red one with silver lining fit into the tiny hole and the smell of leather and cherry blossoms wafted over her face. She had left her car running but locked it just in case. It seemed stupid now.
Shifting her red pickup truck into gear, she made her way back towards her apartment, her eyes weary as the snow blew down harder and the ice grew thicker. Even in the mini blizzard, Sakura's eyes were weary. Her hands gripped the steering wheel with vigor. Her already white knuckles growing whiter, her flesh almost ripping around her knuckles. Her shoulders were tense with grief.
The snow continued its assault on the ground, rain mingling in with the icy droplets. It was a torrent of ice and snow. A very bad combination.
"I wonder if angels cry every time a soul is lost...that would be sad. Crying for eternity seems like such a waste…." Sakura mumbled mournfully to herself, her fingers unclenching on the wheel, nails tapping against it in time with the low hum of music emitting from her radio.
Sakura just wanted to crawl back into bed, for warmth was always present. Just curl up and wish that warm arms encompassed her. And so she did. Sakura crawled into her bed but even as she huddled into the thick comforter, her brain tried to calculate why she wasn't falling instantaneously asleep. With a blink of her tear encrusted lashes Sakura figured out why. Her sheets were ice slabs, a frozen whisper against her bare flesh. No one could comfort her now. No warmth. No sun. No love. Sakura let the tears trail down her face, realizing with a jolt that even her tears would not heat. Sakura was a glacier. And she feared not even the long awaited sun's return would melt her.
The glint from the sky was almosthypnotic; Sakura's brain couldn't grasp the familiarity in it alone.
Her body ached.
With strength she no longer she knew she possessed, Sakura slowly sat up in bed. Her pink hair fell in waves over one shoulder, the other side matted to the sides of her head. She must have had another nightmare. Those were not few and far lately. Then why did she feel so…at peace? As if only joyous things filled her dreams.
But was she still dreaming? Her fog filled eyes glanced around her room wearily. It was almost…odd how neat everything was. As if she was in a carbon copy of it, not the original.
With a groggy yawn escaping her lips, her pale green toenails peeked out of from underneath the rustling sheets and made to greet the shag carpet below.
And the morning started over again. As if she never visited naruto's grave three hours prior. Like any other day, only different. Because she didn't normally get a call from Ino, urging her to come to the harbor, where all of them used to play as kids. She didn't usually rush to her either, but this morning like any other morning since then, she felt desperate for companionship.
So against her better judgment she quickly dressed in a thin but rather warm cotton dress and knee high leather brown boots. She had only one arm in one of her sleeves when Ino texted her again. The message, let alone the format should have set her on the edge. It didn't.
'Come alone. We need to talk. I'll be waiting by the docks.'
No smiley faces or short text lingo. None of the boisterous laughable quirks that Ino had. She even signed her name, not Ino-pig or pork chop, just Ino.
That was the word for what Sakura was feeling from Ino. Pure hatred. It scared her. Why would Ino hate her? They were both grieving; if anything they should hate the snow, the cold, the ice that had taken him. She shouldn't hate her. Even as Sakura told herself these things, her brain whirring and thoughts colliding, she was already getting into her truck, already driving through the slick roads towards the harbor.
It was a small harbor, only few people still came to it. But to them it was home. Where it all began. And soon would end she supposed. Sakura gripped the steering column, her gut already clenching. Did Ino hate her?
The thoughts kept coming; Sakura was near tears with distraught. She had never had her friend hate her before. Sure hate came easily when you had everything. She knew a lot of people that claimed to hate her for having things that they themselves did not. She just thought it was petty jealousy. Maybe not.
Sakura glanced at her dashboard; the time read 6:32. It was already hard to see in the early morning, this snow was dangerous. Why did Ino call her out so suddenly. It was early,even for Sakura. Ino was the queen of sleeping in, sakura didn't even know if ino had an alarm clock. She was living on the edge. Ino loved to say.
The harbor came into view, a desolate wasteland now. Sakura peered through heavy lashes into the open air covered in snow flurries, her headlights shining in the drive. Ino's car was not here. Maybe Sakura had misread the time. But then Sakura realized that Ino hadn't put a time to meet. Just to hurry. Surely Ino had already been waiting, then why?
With an aggravated sigh Sakura grabbed her extra scarf from her glove compartment and left the safety and warmth of her truck. Her breaths came out in murky frozen air. After slipping a couple of times on the snow embankment, Sakura wandered towards the buildings to the left of the harbor. Where they kept some extra cargo. Surely Ino had found haven in there, finding it to cold to discuss whatever they needed to discuss.
With a heavy sneeze Sakura rubbed her bare hands together and started to trek through the snow, towards the nearest building. Stupid Ino was gonna get it. Sakura was probably going to get sick.
Sakura sneezed again and a bird cawed in the distance.
Blinking back the allergy induced tears, Sakura looked around the building. Time had not done it justice. The walls were decaying and it smelled of rotten fish and salt water mold. She reached a bare hand out to trail along the wall, it coming back cold and slick. With renewed vigor Sakura proceeded to head to the hatch of the door. It felt warm. Which only meant one thing.
In a breathy sigh Sakura unlatched in the door and threw it open. Warmth rushed past her face and she closed her eyes in appreciation. She could hear the crackle of a fire. Sakura opened her eyes and blinked. Then blinked again at the sight. With a dull thump of her heart, Sakura opened her mouth to let out a blood curdling scream.
I'd be lying if I said I expected Sakura to come in at that exact moment. It was perfect really. Sai was lying on top of me, with the knife pressed against my throat, just as we had practiced. I bite my lower lip as if to seem helpless. Sakura was gaping like a fish in the doorway, I could see from my the floor that the snow had only gotten worse. Best get this over with. I opened my mouth to scream, as I struggled under Sai's grasp. His stone cold slate colored eyes furrowed in puzzlement, and my baby blue eyes pleaded for him to catch on.
"Get off of her!" Sakura finally shrieked and I heard the clack of her boots against the stone floor as she rushed Sai, open fisted, what a moron. I rolled my eyes and pinched Sai to look at me.
" Hurt her." I mouthed to Sai. My blood was boiling, in the last six hours, I had at least fantasized about killing Sakura a half a dozen times, at least. In various ways, some gruesome, some quick and painless. I just wanted her dead. It hurt my very soul to see her alive, instead of Naruto. The wench was poison to my family. Like a mutation that seemed to plant itself since day one.
Sai squeezed me closer, as if to portray to slice my throat. The fire behind us crackled wickedly. I smirked when Sakura's footsteps grew quicker as she jumped onto Sai's back, propelling me to the side of the cold floor. I wiped my face, some spittle had leaked from the corner of my mouth. Stupid bitch made me hit my cheek on the floor.
I turned towards Sakura and Sai and my smile dropped. There was a wicked glint in Sai's eye. The glint that had alerted me, to him being the man for this job. Plus he owed me. It was hush hush about his brother's supposed death. But I knew it wasn't an accident. Sai was a cold blooded killer. He wiped his brother off the face of this earth, and they had memories to share. Surely he didn't have any problem getting rid of a pesky slut who had no history with him. Surely.
A small twang in my heart made me snap back to reality. I was biting the side of my mouth, even as blood oozed into the cavern, my tongue flicking out to taste the metallic substance. Sakura was really getting feisty. But then again, she wasn't head cheerleader, black belt in karate, tai kwon do and taijitsu for nothing. Sakura had skill. Maybe Sai wasn't enough.
I watched as Sai tried and failed to sling Sakura from his back, Sakura's black boots wrapped around his waist in a vise like grip and her arms slung around his neck. She was choking him. And Sai was losing. I snarl.
"Stay away from Ino!" Sakura barked out as Sai side stepped and back pedaled to the nearest wall, and to my surprise, he jumped up against the wall. A resounding crack and cry of pain reaching my ears. Metal clattered to the floor as each of them caught there breath. Sai was struggling to regain what oxygen Sakura had ridden him of, Sakura was moaning on the ground as she attempted to get her bearings back and I just sat there. Struggling to breath correctly. This wasn't how it was supposed to go.
Tears of anger pricked at the corners of my eyes as I grit my teeth. Sakura was slowly crawling over to me, her whispers of concern dying on my ears. My hands were bawled up and shaking.
"Ino-pig? Are you okay? Did he hurt you-" Sakura stopped short and coughed up a little blood. She groaned and struggled to her feet. With a confident smile she offered me her hand. But then was plucked from the ground as Sai heaved her to the other side of the room. He was pissed.
"You stupid fuckin bitch!" Sai roared. He pinned sakura to the ground and my heart leaped in fear at what happened next. Sai tore Sakura's shirt from her back and my ears piqued at the sound of wet flesh slamming against the ground. I winced. I knew what sai had in mind, it wasn't what I wanted him to do.
"What the hell are you doing?! This isn't what we agreed Sai!" I yelled at him,half in fear, but I didn't want him to know I wasn't in control anymore, so I looked him dead in the eye. Sai glared at me and I flinched. He then gave a fake smile and nodded. Sakura shrieked when Sai slapped her across the face, blood spurting from her nose and mouth as I winced. I heard the tearing of Sakura's clothing, saw Sai play the corners of the knife against sakura's flesh,begging her to plead for her life. He was a sick bastard. But I was even sicker for watching.
I clenched my hands to my ears and tried to blot out the screams and cackles from Sai as I shook my head from side to side. I didn't want this to happen. I didn't want Sakura to die. Not really. Just be hurt like me. The sound of Sai's moans and the ripping of flesh. It was to much, I started to cry. Sakura's cries to make him stop. Sai's wet plopping action as he raped Sakura. It was chaos. I wasn't expecting this. It was almost too much for me to bare.
It was done with in a mere fifteen minutes of agony. Sai finally reached his peak and let out a groan,the sound of his zipper being pulled up, a body being tossed to the side and Sakura's whimpers. The fire still crackled. I looked up and sniffled. Sai came over to me and bent down as If he actually cared. The devil himself knew that his spawn of a bastard had no soul. I halfheartedly snarled and Sai smiled coyly. He knew he was in control,knew I was the prey in this sick game. One false move and I was dead.
"What's wrong little princess? Didn't you want her to hurt, to know the pain you yourself have experienced? I only did what you asked me to do." He said rather loudly.
"I never told you to rape-" I began but the murderous look in his eyes made my mouth close rather fast. My eyes flickered to Sakura nervously. Her head was up, she was huddled in a ball, being stripped down to her undercover slip and socks, scraped and bruises running along her arms already, she looked completely broken. My hearts stuttered in agony. I squeezed my eyes closed and gripped Sai's jacket, willing it to be his neck.
"We've made our point Sai. Let's just go. She's learned her lesson already." I managed to sound tough but the effect was lost on the all knowing ears of Sai. He smirked at my attempt and shook his head sinisterly.
" I don't think ugly here has learned her lesson. She still looks like she holds a spark. Let's show her what real fire looks like." Sai replied as he slowly walked to Sakura, I stepped forward but then stepped back and clutched my hands to my sides. I couldn't help Sakura, I could only watch.
Sakura looked up at Sai, her once dead eyes alit with fire. I urged that fire to die. How selfish of me. She managed to regain to her footing, her clothes torn to shred and her hair hanging in a halo around her head. She looked like a spiteful angel that refused to just die and do as she was told. I almost smiled at that thought.
I closed my eyes as it all unfolded. So even I couldn't tell you what unfolded. I heard things but I didn't dare speak or even flutter my eyelids.
A body being dragged, cracks and blows to flesh as curses were uttered and fiery vixens struggled. And the crackle of the fire. Suddenly Sai's words clicked in my head. He wasn;t just going to burn Sakura. He was going to murder her. My eyes snapped open and my feet moved on there own.
"No! Stop Sai!" I screamed as Sai looked back at me with a smirk and then propelled Sakura into the fire. Sakura screamed and turned around mid descent to the core of flames to look at me. It was a look I will never forget in my entire life. A look of pure hatred. Hurt, betrayal but most importantly promise. Sakura was going to get her revenge someday. I closed my eyes as her body fell, held my self as I smelled the gasoline being poured onto the fire, flickering in and out with Sai's maniacal laughter that broke me completely. I slumped to the ground and cried. I looked over to the half charred remains of her. The fire though hot and high had died down with the onslaught of rain and snow that was now pouring from the doorway. Sakura had been spared her beauty though. Only the left side of her face was badly burned, her eyes closed almost in bliss. The rest of her body was black, which didn't always mean burns but maybe soot? My heart leapt with hope but it died with Sai's words.
"She's dead Ino. You killed her. And if not, with those burns and gashes, she won't last more than an hour. Less. She's done for." Sai states in a monotonous voice. I closed my eyes again. He was right. Even and idiot could tell. I collapsed into Sai's arrogantly awaiting arms.
I killed her. I killed Sakura. All because I was jealous of her. Of everything she had. Because she didn't only have my spot at fame,being richer, popularity. She had my brother,his love and his approval. Something that I should have only had. For I had been in love with my brother and now he was gone. And I had just committed a sin. A retched sin that would mottle my very soul. My eyelids fluttered as Sai was carrying me away.
"I hated you Sakura. But I don't think I really wanted you dead. But i'm not sorry. An eye for an eye. My debt is re-payed. Say hello to Naruto for me, will ya?" The words were foul in my mouth. I didn't mean them but like a mouse I fled. I was to scared for my own life to care for the one slipping away mere inches from me.
And with that we left. Left the girl, alive or dead, she was gone.
And I was a killer. Such a retched girl I have become. Because even in death, Sakura was still better than me. The irony in that alone was mortifying.
I may not have choked the life from Sakura Haruno myself, but I sure as hell didn't do anything to stop it. Which was worse in my opinion.
The figure below almost seemed to be sleeping. Her porcelain like face was slightly burned on one side and her once long pink hair had been charred to near her chin in jagged strands. She was still beautiful though. My lips curved into a devilish smile. Yes, she will do indeed.
My fingers trailed along her cheekbones, and my eyes only narrowed in delight when I saw her soul eking out of her mouth in a green wisp of energy. Perfect. Almost there now. The long strands of my black robe touched her waist and I almost felt pity when I looked down at her battered body. Watching her death was probably the hardest part of this transition. For it wasn't really her time. Merely the influence of his pawns actions. But planting the seed of doubt in the blonde wasn't hard. Mortals usually had nonsense such as petty jealousy ruling them anyways. It wasn't hard to manipulate that. But even still, his fingers brushed at her incredible long eyelashes in fond greetings as her soul left completely, leaving that lovely hum of death to lock her fate and his. I gently lean forward to claim that last bit of life I needed and pecked her on her cold soft lips. It was rather enjoyable, even as I was sucked inside of the shell, I was still humming with pleasure. This would most enjoyable. Finally after one hundred and fifty years. It was here. The Reaping had started. And this time Sasuke Uchiha would get his revenge.
Instead of a devilishly manly smirk, the female below curved her lips into a savage grin. A black energy swirled around her, lighting her wounds with fire before disappearing all together. A moan escaped her lips and her long hair grew out into ringlets of pink. Pale hands covered in blood reached out to exam the hair and 'she' grimaced at the useless thing. Her hand then clenched and her green eyes sparkled with malice. Vengeance was a sweet thing. But first thing's first. This girl did deserve her revenge, if not in soul then in body. He owed her that much for stealing her body.
"Get ready Sai Taiyuki, your time has come to succumb to the darkness." She/he purred as she crawled from her grave and walked out into the cold, not bothered in the least, the moonlight shining against her green eyes and illuminating the night with red orbs. The color of blood. Fresh blood.
-Okay! So this is the end of chapter 2! My internet has been jacking up so even if I just finished this, it might not be up for a while. But please take the time to drop a line,good or bad, I will always appreciate feedback and criticism.
Oh and if the 'guests' reviews aren't working just know, I don't have my guest review turned OFF, fanfiction just sucks. So if you try multiple times it will work. So please try until it works. Means a lot to me,thanks.