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I have uploaded two new pictures to my DeviantArt account. The first features Genma looking all manly and menacing and stuff, the second one is a not so hastily coloured sketch of Kakashi and Ayame which unfortunately looks like a carelessly slapped-together... thing. I stil like it for some obscure reason, but I'm afraid it's not all that good.

Well, at least it's cute in a sick way.

For Genma hotness click here...

...and here for Kakashi and Ayame being cute in an anatomically incorrect way.



"You know, usually there is supposed to be this deeply personal bond between torturer and..." she paused, flustered. Torturee? Nah.

"Victim," Kakashi supplied gently when nothing more was forthcoming.

She looked up. "What? Ah yes, thank you. Victim. Deep and abiding hate and all that. And of course, the torturer must want to break you, devote himself to it. There's nothing worse than a torturer who doesn't think you're all that interesting but will hurt and humiliate you until you break nevertheless, just on principle."

She suppressed a small shudder at the memory.

"You're almost wilted, ne, Ayame-chan?" After two months, he'd managed to learn her name. The drugged haze made her reactions sluggish, but oh how she wanted to slap him across that grinning mouth. She knew better than to try.

Kakashi didn't touch her. He knew better than to offer physical comfort when her eyes filmed over like that, but the soothing quality of his one-eyed gaze was almost tangible nevertheless. He watched her reaction carefully, saw her brown eyes darken further with impotent fear.

He could read most of her reactions, even scent some of them, but the fulness of her thoughts remained hidden from him. Behind its cloth prison the Sharingan struggled, demanding to be set free. It obviously had Byakkugan delusions, Kakashi thought testily.

Drawn in by the compassion in his eyes Ayame felt barriers crumble as ugly memories spilled forth, unchecked.

"You are soiled, sweetling." Banshio lifted a small hand, kissing the palm, then entwining strong fingers with her own swollen, fractured ones. The pain was almost casual. "You were not worth much to start with, but now you're just garbage."

She shivered. After an eternity, they meant to kill her?

Staring up into Banshio's smirking visage, she wondered why the thought caused such nausea. The bitter taste in her mouth... She should be happy, shouldn't she? Finally, it would all end. But wouldn't all her endurance be meaningless if it ended like this? A tiny part of her still hoped for rescue, flight, something. That part was growing smaller with each passing day but it was still there, carefully hidden. Surely it couldn't be all over?

"Not even my men want to fuck you now."

"Gee, I wonder why," she murmured hazily. The words came out clear enough; her face was still relatively intact. Banshio liked to watch faces when he fucked. On people anyway.

He chuckled. "You're afraid," he whispered, bending to kiss her lips. His tongue swirled obscenely inside her mouth, tickling her tonsils until she choked. Retreating with an almost girlish chuckle he bit her lip affectionately, drawing blood.

"I like the scent of your fear," he said. "I like it very much. You see, the wounds don't matter to me all that much. The swelling doesn't matter to me. Wounds will scar, and with a little patience and care you'll soon look like a woman again. You won't regain the use of your hands that soon, but you weren't all that good at handjobs anyway. Still, you've got a pretty mouth."

His lips brushed her ear, and she could hear him inhale the scent of her hair. "I like my toys a little broken. I'll break you more, in time. I'll break you slowly, carefully, until your eyes become dull and dead and if there's still a spark of humanity inside you I'll fan that just enough so you'll remember who you were, and then I'll break you again. And again."

She whimpered. He hushed her with a kiss on her forehead, stroking her hair until she could feel the terror choking her soundlessly, mercilessly. Her mind could whimper, too.

"But puppet?" He merely chuckled indulgently as she didn't answer. "Don't ever think you're special. You are nothing. You always were. Your village left you here to rot, and rot you will. I will merely drop by whenever someone reminds me of your existence. "

Trembling, she opened her eyes. When had she squeezed them shut? She couldn't remember. Her cheeks were suspiciously wet, but it was even more shocking to realize that her fingers were digging into Kakashi's vest and his right hand was rubbing her back in soothing circles.

Had she talked? Vaguely, she remembered words spilling out but surely she couldn't have made much sense...

There was a large dark spot of moisture staining the front of his vest. She stared at it numbly because everything was better than meeting his gaze. She felt his other hand cup the back of her head and just stay there, reassuringly large. She should have felt threatened with it so close to her vulnerable neck but she felt cradled, cocooned between his hands and body and the soothing flickers of his chakra.

Ever so slowly, she dragged her weary gaze up to his face. "Talk to me," she pleaded hoarsely.

"It wasn't your fault," he said, shocking her into anger.

"I never said--" she began, but it was a lie, because all along she had secretly wondered what was wrong with her to make them use her so.

"You thought it," he said. "You're ashamed, even now. But it's not your fault. It just happened."

"But I didn't think about killing myself, not even when he--" she broke off. "Some did. Some went through with it too."

Kakashi's fingers stroked the nape of her neck soothingly. "Is what you are doing so different then?"

Her answering sigh was almost a sob. "Probably not."

His thumbs brushed gently over her wet cheeks. "Torture affects everyone differently and there are those who can't bear it. Still, some people choose living," he said quietly. "Most settle for merely existing." He sounded weary. "I'm afraid I am guilty of the latter myself. But nobody can make the choice for you."

She allowed herself to sink against him, relaxing even further as she felt his arms tighten around her in a firmer embrace. She felt as secure as she ever had in the makeshift cradle of his arms, and she wondered why that was. She didn't try to fool herself -- part of it was because he was such an excellent fighter; there was hardly a better bodyguard around. But it wasn't only the feeling of security that drew her to him so... he told her what she needed to hear instead of what she wanted, was compassionate when he needed to be and ruthlessly truthful whenever she attempted to deceive herself.

"Do you--" she swallowed, "Do you think I should go on missions again?"

"I don't think you should do anything," he replied mildly, "and no."

"What then?"

"You already have a working shell of a life. You could try giving it a little more meaning."

She frowned, her knee-jerk reaction firmly against the idea. Meaning was the same as worth, and things of worth could be taken away.

Kakashi sighed. "It won't work as long as you are still afraid they'll kidnap you in your sleep, you know."

"Banshio is stil alive," she said hoarsely. "I know it."

"You also know your worth to him. Breaching the security of the village to take you away would require an expensive high-class mission, not to mention a foolish and probably doomed one. I am not saying it is impossible, but it is highly doubtful."

That's not enough! her mind screamed even when the rational side of her declared itself in full agreement with his estimation.

"I am fully aware this doesn't mean anything to the part of you that wants to hide in a dark room and never come out," he added reasonably. "But I will protect you whenever I'm not on missions, that much I can promise. I can also request information on Banshio and train you to be at your most effective against him specifically."

"The enemy you know..." she murmured, hardly believing how his words made her think an actual life could be indeed a possiblity.

"Precisely. Ayame..." Startled by the husky tone of his voice she looked up and froze, mesmerized. "You have built your whole life around a man to whom you were a passing entertainment, less than an animal. You're one among hundreds, maybe more. He might not even remember your face, but you dream and think of him every day, even eight years later." His touch was gentle but his eyes were hard. "Think about that. Think about how much power you're giving him."

I can't! You're driving me crazy. Kakashi... "Kakashi..." she managed. "Why?"

His hand rose to his face, casually pulling the mask down. Ayame could only stare as the material pooled over his collarbone.

Ignoring her reaction he bent down, pressing bare lips against her cheek in a firm caress. "I think there have been enough earth-shattering revelations for today," he murmured against her skin. "We must save some for later, don't you agree?"

Distracted by the nearly forgotten warmth pooling low in her belly, Ayame didn't answer. But her arms slid about his waist and her head settled in the crook of his neck. Who knew tears could be so exhausting? she wondered with hazy contentment. His breath was sweet and warm against her cheek, and the answering tug in her stomach felt strange and a little painful in its intensity, like the uncoiling of something rusty and too-long unused.

I want to feel. Even if it's only the pulse of your heart against my ear, or that bit of skin beneath my fingers where your shirt is riding up underneath your vest. Your skin is so smooth, Kakashi. Not covered in scars, but I won't think about that right now. Your hands are so warm.

You smell so good...

Kakashi looked down at the sleeping bundle in his arms expressionlessly. He would have to ask Genma tomorrow for a few little favours, and Gai was going to help as well as soon as he heard the edited details. He would also need Tsunade's permission but if he guessed right, that wouldn't be hard to gain.

His gaze, already cold, froze further to reflect the fast-moving glacier that was his mind.

With a little luck Banshio's head would be his come summer.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 18th, 2004 07:46 am (UTC)
Oooh! The end was so romantic and suspenseful, with the earth-shattering revelations comment- I've halfway got a crush on this Kakashi fella and damned if I've even watched one of the shows.

Behind its cloth prison the Sharingan struggled, demanding to be set free. It obviously had Byakkugan delusions, Kakashi thought testily.

I have NO IDEA what this sentence means.
Mar. 18th, 2004 11:43 am (UTC)
Heh, happy to hear that! Shared crushes are the best (or something). :)

About that sentence... One of Kakashi's eyes gives him the ability to copy an opponent's techniques (usually combat techniques). The ability is a genetic trait called the Sharingan, which is a specialization of another genetic trait called the Byakkugan -- that one allows the owner wider insights into people's psyche and also to see the Chakra flow inside everyone's bodies.

As far as I understand it, Chakra is used more like manna is in roleplaying games -- it allows using advanced techniques (same as casting spells).

Back to Kakashi -- his Sharingan eye is not something he was born with... it's unclear how he received it but my guess is an operation. Since he isn't from the clan that is born with the trait he doesn't have full control over it and has to keep it covered because it drains his Chakra when it's used (Chakra is also used as a synonym for life energy).

Uh, right. So anyway, while the Byakkugan is very powerful in a more general way and therefore could be thought of as superior because it can be used in 'real life' too, not only combat, the Sharingan is really just used for copying techniques. It has no uses anywhere but in combat.

Hoping I haven't bored you to tears or confused you further... X)
Mar. 18th, 2004 04:06 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm still confused, but less than before, so it's all good :)
Mar. 19th, 2004 08:03 pm (UTC)
Not sure if 'impotent' is the word you'd want to use to describe her fear ^^; the definition of impotent as I understand is means something more along the lines of lacking power or vigor, sFino I'm afraid I'm a bit confused as to what you're trying to get across as impotent fear =_=;

Otherwise, this is such a lovely bit. Such lovely character interaction between Ayame and Kakashi. It's completely believable. <3 Can't wait to see what kind of favors Kakashi needs from Genma and love the bit about giving Gai only the "edited details" XD

Very good portrayal of Kakashi's dual identities as supportive and comforting love interest vs. deadly vengful copy ninja as well. <3 I love your writing.
Apr. 8th, 2004 12:54 pm (UTC)
I bookmared this entry and am finally getting to read this. This short is really great. I like how you gave Ayame background and depth rather than just being some chick that worked at the local fast food joint. The ending is nice too, I like the idea of him avenging the wrongs done against his precious person.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )