Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto or Sekirei; those rights belong to Masashi Kishimoto and Sakurako Gokurakuin respectively. I'm just borrowing their works, not for the intention of making a profit, but to entertain the few individuals who read my attempts at storytelling.
Pairing(s): Karasuba/Uzumaki Naruto, (Mentioned) Musubi/Sahashi Minato
Author's Note: This seems to be the story that everyone wants to read, with the Tsukiumi/Naruto pairing coming in second. When I had first come up with the prompt, I had no idea that it would be so popular. Hopefully this fic will be able to live up to your expectations, especially if you've all stuck with M.O.T.D. all the way till now. For those who are new – welcome.
Prologue: To Change One's Fate
Digging her fingers into the scorched soil beneath her, the battered woman tried in vain to drag herself towards her opponent. In her other hand was her beloved nodachi, broken, chipped and cracked, so far away from the weapon that used to strike fear into the hearts of her fellow Sekirei. Gritting her teeth in rage, Sekirei #04, Karasuba lifted her head up in order to level hateful grey eyes on her enemy, the young woman who had utterly defeated her.
Standing above her in a shrine maiden-like outfit, with a long sleeved shirt and a short dress, both tattered beyond repair, was Sekirei #88, Musubi.
Replacing the always present smile she always bore was a grim frown, and her cheerful brown eyes were filled with untold sorrow. Her chin-length brown hair lashed about on the high winds surrounding their battlefield like a banner around her body. Karasuba's own hair had come out of its high ponytail sometime during their battle, was splayed down her back and her face, soiled with both her blood and her opponent's.
A series of coughs wracked the Black Sekirei's body, which only seemed to enhance the sadness that the other female regarded her with. The pity was clear in Musubi's eyes, and if there was nothing that the grey-haired woman hated, it would be pity. Especially when it came from her, especially her!
Using her hatred to force her upper body from the ground swallowing the pain and shacking in her arms, she barred her teeth hatefully.
"Don't look at me with that damn look; I don't need pity from anyone much less you! I would much rather see hatred, disgust, anything else, but keep your damn pity! I don't need it!"
But this only caused the girl's expression to grow worse, and Karasuba snarled before losing to another coughing fit as her wounds opened again. Pain ripped through her body from the extensive wounds that littered her slender frame, and she could feel her body slowly trying to heal itself. Unfortunately, she knew that it would be too late, and that it wouldn't matter in the end. Too much blood was spilled, too much was put into the fight to leave it like that. No! Just one of them would be walking away!
After all the waiting, all the training, all the biding her time; she would never be able to fight that woman and defeat her.
That Karasuba realized now, it was more than likely that she would never be able to defeat the one that kept her, Yume, away from the sadistic MBI dog. Gritting her teeth once more, she felt blood slide down from the corner of her lips and slide down to her bruised chin before dropping down onto the blackened ground.
Clenching her bare fists, the nearly naked young woman stiffened and frowned down at the defeated Sekirei.
Her promise with Yume, the one who saved her all those years ago, the one that taught her the true source of a Sekirei's power, would never be fulfilled. All because of MBI and their plans, and this very woman before her, doing everything she could do, everything she needed to do for a fight with one person. Karasuba was everything that Musubi thought was the exact opposite of what a Sekirei should be.
She believed that humans were underneath them due to their differences, killed them and other Sekirei without remorse, and she even went along with MBI when their plans were all shot to hell with the Ashikabi and Sekirei rebelling against them.
All of this she did, and for what?
To have a single fight against a woman, whom she imagined, slighted her purposely by dying defending of a younger, weaker Sekirei?
Karasuba had even killed Minato, her Ashikabi, along with the rest of his Sekirei.
If there was anyone who deserved to be hated by Musubi, it would be Sekirei #04. She hated her with boundless rage and sorrow, she was shaking her hands in anger for her loss, and the one responsible was right in front of her.
…but, she couldn't muster up those kinds of feelings.
Clasping her hands in front of her chest, she bit her lip as she felt tears welling up in her eyes.
Hatred couldn't take root in her heart; only pity.
Looking the other Sekirei in the eye, she steeled herself.
"I'm sorry Karasuba, but pity is all I can feel for you…because I realize that even now you've never felt that one thing that makes us truly strong, the one thing that gave me the strength to beat you." She said, emotionless.
Snarling, Karasuba spat at the younger Sekirei's feet before any strength that had been left had gave out. Hitting the ground, she cried out as once more she was swept away on a wave of agony. The last hit that landed on her body had been more powerful than anything she had ever experienced, and that was saying something after having faced Asama Miya in full-out combat.
'To think that this twit has become even more powerful than #01, to surpass #08, and now to defeat me…The strongest of the Sekirei! Outrageous! I cannot allow it!'
Musubi watched as the older woman tried to get up, but continued to fail. That was all that she needed to allow the tears to fall. She knew that there was nothing she could say that she could say to make the blood-thirsty Sekirei see the error of her ways, nor to get her to see the truth to a Sekirei's true power. No one but her true Ashikabi would be able to do this, as it was clear to her from the beginning that while Karasuba and Ichinomi Natsuo had gotten along. The MBI employee was never meant to be her Ashikabi. She knew what it felt like to have a real Ashikabi, like Minato, it was because of him that she couldn't bring herself to end Karasuba's life, because it would go against everything he believed in.
'I feel sorry for Karasuba…she has never known how the bond between a Sekirei and their true Ashikabi, like the love between Minato and I had…I wish that she could understand love…that she could meet her true Ashikabi!'
As her tears hit the ground, it lit up the ground with a brilliant pink light. Ripples from around her and Karasuba's body's and a figured appeared in between them. Feeling the familiar warmth from her past, the fist-type opened her eyes and gasped at the smiling figure that was smiling at her. Gentler brown eyes regarded her with adoration and pride.
"You have no idea how proud I am of who you've become…"
The floating spirit of Sekirei #08 wrapped her arms around the younger female, and cradled Musubi's head against her chest. It seemed as if everything was finally hitting the kind-hearted Sekirei as she then allowed the tears to fall. Musubi cried because she couldn't fulfill her promise to Yume, she cried for the death of her friends, she cried for the complete destruction of the life she had come to love, and lastly…the death of Minato. Yume, in a sense, was the last of Minato's Sekirei besides herself, and knew the sense loss they all felt when Minato died in defense of Landlady of Izumo Inn.
"To think that after everything that she's done, you would spare her and shed tears for her…I am so proud of how much you've grown… Minato and the others feel the same."
It was at that moment when the 88th Sekirei felt true peace, and for the first time in so long, a smile formed on her face. Humming, the older fist-type Sekirei looked up at the sky.
"But before we go to see them, there is one thing that you would have to do."
She felt Musubi stiffen a bit, and decided that it wouldn't make sense to keep her away from their Ashikabi as well as their fellow Sekirei any longer.
"You're the last Sekirei standing, and so you are able to have your wish fulfilled…no matter what it is, I shall grant it as MBI no longer exists to do so."
For a moment, the brown-haired Sekirei said nothing and seemed to be lost in her own thoughts. But suddenly, she was snapped out of her thoughts by the sound of an animalistic snarl. Both Musubi and Yume glanced down at the grey-haired woman sneering up at them with disgust. It was at that moment when everything became clear to #88.
She knew exactly what she was going to wish for.
Pulling away from Yume's embrace, Musubi wiped away her tears with a sniffle before looking at her doppelganger with a determined look.
"Yume-san, I've decided…I want for Karasuba to meet her true Ashikabi, and to finally experience love."
Nodding, Yume closed her eyes and gathered her energy of their Tama.
"T-TEME!" Karasuba tried to protest and pushed herself to her feet, reaching towards Yume and Musubi, but the last thing she saw before her vision went white was the content smiles on both of their faces. As the bright light swallowed the entire area, a gentle voice echoed.
"I wish you could feel love…I wish you were able to bask in it, and maybe then you would understand and find true power…true power that can only be found with your true Ashikabi. Find love Karasuba…goodbye."
Uzumaki Naruto didn't consider himself to be a human.
After having been referred to as a "demon" or a "monster" by the villagers of Konohagakure since he was cognizant enough to understand. It should be no surprise to anyone that would eventually believe himself to be something other than human. No matter how much the very notion of him being anything other than being human has been denied by the Sandaime Hokage, whom had always shown him kindness and treated him as a normal child. The damage had already been done, and Naruto himself had come to realize that they may be right. One man's opinion, even the Hokage's, couldn't outweigh the thoughts of the many.
Well, there was one thing the blond would agree with in the old man's protests of his personal views of his humanity.
He didn't believe he was a "demon", as the civilians had come to claim.
No true demon would ever take the amount of animosity or disrespect lying down, and not retaliate. Why the villagers didn't seem to realize that was beyond him, but it forced him to believe that humans (besides a certain few) were really stupid.
That or they didn't possess any self-preservation whatsoever.
The villagers of Konohagakure in particular, were perfect examples of the lack of preservation. Otherwise they would watch their tones around the so-called "demon", which could've killed them outright at the amount of disrespect they showed him on a daily basis.
But three days ago, during one of his usual treks in the wild to find some herbs, he came across this battered woman that now lay unconscious in his small home.
Looking down at the sleeping woman curiously, he tilted his head to the side. The woman before him wasn't like anyone else he had ever seen before; not physically mind you. In Konoha there were plenty of women who would be considered more physically attractive than this woman; even then the only thing on the surface that would make her strange is her grey hair. But even that didn't make her unique.
No, it was not the woman's physical features that convinced him to bring the woman to his house after finding her in a clearing in the Forest of Death during his daily treks to gather herbs. It was her unique chakra, which blatantly told him that she wasn't human nor like any shinobi he'd ever seen.
Naruto couldn't be nothing more than amused at the thought that he would come across another like him…
Humming softly with closed eyes as he began making medical paste from the herbs he picked. The blond allowed the woman's steadily recuperating chakra caress his own without complaint. Smiling at the fine paste that he made, he moved over towards the sleeping woman and threw back the blanket. It had been a lot of work to heal the wounds on her chest before wrapping them with bandages. Noticing the wounds were slowly but surely knitting themselves together, in a way that was similar to his healing ability. But he was conscious of the fact that she is healing a bit slower than he would in her condition, and so decided to put some salve on the wounds to help speed up the process.
Placing his fingers onto the wound in preparation to spread the paste, he didn't expect a delicate but calloused hand to grip his wrist in a bruising hold. Blinking in surprise and shock, he tilted his head and peered over into sleepy gray eyes. Shaking his head, the blond grabbed her hand with his free one and pressed a certain point in her wrist that caused it to slacken. Moving the hand to lay on the bed, he could almost feel the shock coming from the strange woman.
"You can calm down, I'm only using this to help your wounds heal a bit faster than they currently are… You're probably still in a lot of pain, so don't move too much."
A scowl formed on her face as she regarded him with something close to disgust.
Naruto noticed the look and couldn't help but sigh sadly. To think that the first other non-human he comes across, would immediately dislike him from the get-go.
Was there something about him that made him repulsive even to non-humans?
…Oh well, as disappointing as it was, he was back to square one.
"I've done all that I can for you though, so I'm going to have to get the old man to take you into the village."
Finishing his task before sending the woman a small smile, he pulled the blanket up till it rest along her collarbone. Hopping down from the stool by the bed, he ignored the stare on his back as he made his way towards the window. Not even a second later, a raven landed on his windowsill with a scroll in its beak. Naruto held out his hand, and watched as the crow hopped onto his offered appendage with no fear unlike most animals that encountered him. Bringing a hand up, he rubbed under the bird's beak with his finger.
"Good morning Hibiki-kun, what do you have for me today?"
Cawing, the bird dropped the scroll into his waiting hand before hopping off of his hand. With a of single flap of its wings, it landed on the windowsill with another caw. Breaking the seal, the boy quickly scanned its contents before shaking his head in bemused frustration.
While I am happy that you would lend a hand to someone who needs it, I cannot allow an unknown to stay with you without someone there to watch her in case she has any ulterior motives.
I will be sending Hawk and Wolf over to escort her to the hospital within the village.
After she has been cleared, I will allow you to see her if you please. Also, I've been told by Iruka that you've been skipping out on your classes lately, is something wrong?
You know you can discuss anything with me right?
I'll be available tomorrow, why not stop by?
Well that was that.
Balling the paper into a ball, he watched nonchalantly as flames consumed the paper. A pile of ashes were left on his hands, and he blew it outside of the window with a puff of air. Moving over to the desk near him, he pulled out a small scroll as well as a brush and scribbled a short note. Rolling it up, he then brought it over to the raven.
"Here, take this to Hokage-sama."
Grabbing the scroll with its beak, the raven nodded before taking off into the direction of the village.
Seeing as the woman wouldn't be his concern for much longer, he might as well get her things packed to take with her. Moving towards his desk, he gathered the clothes he divested her of and the broken nodachi that he had found in her hand. Rustling from behind him caused him to pause in his actions. Glancing back over his shoulder, he saw the grey-haired woman trying to get off from the bed.
Hissing in displeasure, he quickly moved over towards her with narrowed blue eyes.
"You're not supposed to move, the salve hasn't been sitting on your wounds long enough to take hold!"
But she didn't listen to him one bit. She continued to push herself, while snarling under her breath.
From what he could see, it was like she wasn't even "there" in the room.
It was as if she were somewhere else.
Regardless, he would not let this woman undo the work he had put into healing her.
Even if she obviously was like the villagers of Konoha in regards to him, despite not even being human.
Just as he got to her side, the woman's sudden bout of strength seem to give out as she fell over on top of him eliciting a girlish squeak from his lips. A thud echoed loudly through the small hut, but was followed by a muffled sound of surprise.
Naruto stared up into equally widened grey eyes, as the two realized they were lip locked.
It was at that moment that the two ANBU arrived to see a pair of black wings made off light sprout from above the woman's back and illuminate the room. The sheer power that emanated from the woman, and the position she was in, caused the two to bring cautious hands towards the katana on their back. But the two on the floor paid them no mind.
The blond boy watched as unknown emotions raced through the woman's eyes before angry resignation took its place on her face. Boundless energy raced through her body, and the wounds rapidly healed before his eyes. Her loose grey hair fluttered about her on an imaginary wind. Sleepy eyes stared down at the frozen boy from beneath thick eyelashes, before closing as a sigh fell from her lips.
Moving away a bit, she knelt down with a scowl before the boy, uncaring of her indecent state.
"Karasuba, Sekirei #04, from this moment forth, I shall be together forever with you my Ashikabi."
Nodding absentmindedly at the pledge, Naruto then snapped out of his daze as the wings dispersed into bits of light before disappearing. It was only after the woman's chakra left his senses, that he sensed the two sources coming from his doorway. There stood Hawk and Wolf with their hands on the hilts of their katana. Looking over at the grey-haired woman, now Karasuba, with wariness clear in their tensed stances.
He observed the close-eyed smile she sent in the direction of the two men, who had come to escort her to the village. Of course, the nonchalant smile that she was giving them, as if she had nothing to fear only unnerved the two masked shinobi even more. Their grips on their blades tightened.
Sighing, Naruto knew that was going to have to be taken with her.
The Hokage would surely be told about this bizarre situation, and he would need to be there to explain as much as he could.
Running a hand through his wild locks, he lamented over the trouble that was surely coming his way.
'This is the last time I take in and help some beat up woman in the middle of the forest.'
Elsewhere, Musubi smiled brightly as she lay within her Ashikabi's arms.
"This is your chance Karasuba, the opportunity to change your fate is now upon you…grow stronger and learn of love along with your true Ashikabi."
Well that is the end of the "Black Feathers" prologue!
Next chapter will be a bit of a time skip, but there shall be some flashbacks showing the time between this and the events of Chapter 1! Next chapter will be where the actually plot line of Naruto begins. Know now that some things are going to be totally different from canon. Some events happen, some don't.
It is going to be one hell of a ride.
Chapter 1: The Devil Pair
"By the blade of my contract, all enemies before my Ashikabi shall be cut down!"