Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or its characters. This is only for
entertainment purposes.

I would like to make a special thanks to my beta. She is a genius: winks:


Italics – Inner thoughts


Rating: Pg13-NC17

Summary: She was trapped. Her life altered so completely that no one from
her past would know. To them she was dead, and to him she was a possession.


Of all the places to hide...


Brokenly she leaned back against the wall of the steamed wood. The smells of lavender and vanilla filled her every breath and it made her stomach roll even more. The smells were overwhelmingly sweet and sickeningly thick.  Disgustingly enough, since there was no water near-by she had to swallow the taste of her recent vomiting spell, and with shaky hands she silently wiped at her mouth.

Pausing she read the silence around her for any witnesses. When she could detect no one else, she slowly and tenderly stood from her perch on the ground. Her blond hair was terribly knotted down the back of her blue kimono. Her long legs wobbled with her lack of strength. She wore the silence surrounding her like a cloak as she used her elbows to ease her upper body against the wall of the steaming bathhouse and edged her way over to the door.

Gripping the golden knob she turned it slowly, quietly, peeking out into the
darkened hallway. Barely breathing and hoping her attempt at invisibility would protect her.  Looking both left and right, she sighed heavily in relief.  She realized the corridor was mercifully empty, before closing the door soundlessly behind her.

It seemed everyone was still on the other side of the house. With her left hand almost idly sliding along the wall, she made her way out of the bed and bathhouse she had snuck into.   With every step she took into the cool,  fresh air the pain in her stomach eased, breathing wasn't as difficult.

Now if only my ribs would heal.

Sky-blue eyes shifted restlessly, frantically looking for any movement, for
anything that seemed suspicious. When she reached the side exit, she
opened the door as quietly as she could, eyes darting to see if she would be
discovered.  When she spotted no witnesses to her departure, she gently
closed the door behind her.

A noise at her back startled her into turning around quickly. Stifling a yelp of surprise, she turned to find a black cat starring at her quietly, having just sauntered out from a near-by wall.  Suppressing a shuddering sigh of relief at the presence of the cat, she gave into a small inward smile.


It would be stupid to get caught now, wouldn't it?


Luckily enough there was no one around as she made her way out of the alley.

Taking a deep breath she moved stealthily, turning the corner to the market district. Rock country was truly a beautiful place, and if it weren't so unsafe she would consider staying there permanently. It's not like I have anywhere else to go. But as it was she needed to move, and move quickly.

A strong winter breeze picked up some of the loose strands of her hair and
cooled the sweat that had built up on her chest while she attempted to hide from everyone, even her own shadow. Previous escape attempts have made her enemies with shadows. Hard to disappear fully when one can be seen, even if only obliquely; but harder to be seen when one is only a mere shadow.

Bare feet shuffled over tiny gravel dirt, and danced around as much muck as
possible. It felt weird, but there was nothing that could have been done
about it. She had lost her sandals hours ago and with barely any money
hidden in her sleeves, three recently sharpened kunai, and the clothes on
her back . . . sandals did not appear to be in her immediate future.

The gods must truly hate me.

A quick blur to her right had her diving behind a vendor stand for cover.
She groaned softly as white spots blinked on and off behind her eyelids.

Not strong enough, too much pain...

I need to find shelter, need to find someplace safe, snippets of despair ran
through her mind causing a mantra of hopelessness, as seconds ticked off in
her head. With a silent moan, her body shifted slowly. She strained all her senses to hear any noise, distinguish any smell. To her relief, the blur was nothing more than a rock ninja heading home from patrolling the side
entrance gate.

Nothing to be scared about...he couldn't have tracked you so far.

Standing quickly she started to head back out, ignoring the pain in her body as she moved closer to the gate.

You left him behind, beaten, bloody… there was no way he could have tracked you this far. No reason for him to still want you.

Hands tugged and twisted the loose blond strands so that it looped around her neck and hugged her cleavage. If she moved quickly the guards on duty would simply think she had an argument with a lover; yeah right; and was heading back home in shame. If she moved quickly maybe a guard would take pity on her and ask if she wanted to be escorted home. After that, all she had to do was point out a farmhouse along the border. One that was hopefully empty, and then, then she could finally get some rest.

Let Kyuubi heal the damage.

Moving faster she ignored the burning in the balls of her feet, the strain of pulling the abused muscles in her legs. The gates were just ahead; the sun was rising in the distance. No one was around. Her paranoid mind would finally be able to rest after countless days of running. Maybe there would even be some food and clothes left behind.

Because let's just face it, kimono's are too flimsy to be running around in
with winter not too far away

"And where do you think you're going at this time of morning?"

One of the guards had finally spotted her, turning away from his post to get a better look at her. Not answering she only moved faster, letting tears fill her eyes. She had to play her part; she had to convince them to help her.

Don't know how much longer I will last.

Frustration fueled her tired limbs to move faster. "I asked you a question!"
He dropped down in front of her, anger clear in his bright brown eyes, arms crossed over his broad chest, body tensed to move at a fraction of a second.
She attempted to move around him, only to be grabbed by her arm and yanked
back. A muffled whimper escaped her lips as she kept her head down.

That's definitely going to bruise later…stupid bastard.

"Answer me." He released his grip and crossed his arms again. She quickly
rubbed the spot and glared up at him from underneath her bangs. She was a
mess. She knew it. Her eyes were red and swollen from holding back tears; her small nose was flaring with every breath she took, even her normally brilliant hair seemed dull in the dew of morning light. The blue kimono was in one piece, but worn and faintly smelled of the splattered vomit. And of course she was barefoot, but that wasn't noticeable.


"Mm heading home" She kept her voice quiet, barely moving her lips as her eyes shifted around.  Almost there ...

"And where is home?" he questioned standing straighter. She sneaked a quick
glance up at his face and needed to stifle a quick sob.

He looked just like…

She merely pointed a finger at his chest. It was the direction she was heading in. She watched as he shook his head, sending soft auburn spikes all over the place.

He looked just like…

"Are you injured?"

She started to shake her head 'yes' but stopped and glared at the wall.

Oh god, please just, please just fall for this, I can't take...

He moved forward to grab one of her wrists. She gasped and pulled back weakly.

Why, why do you have to look like him?

He tugged again and pulled her into his chest and for one, beautiful, peaceful moment, she was safe. She was back there, with him, and she was safe. And then it was gone. In one swift movement her feverish daze was departed and she was in his arms, jumping up into the air.

Will I ever see you again?

The only problem was that they weren't heading toward the farmhouses. They were heading back into the village. Panic and fear pooled low in her throat as she used her small fists to hit at his chest. He glared down at her and landed inside the middle of the markets circle.

"What is your problem?" He growled.

She opened her mouth to speak, but froze.

His eyes narrowed in suspicion.

Her eyes widened in shock.

His body jerked.

She wrenched herself from his arms.


His eyes glazed over.

She landed in front of him, tears welling.


Death had taken him.

A slash of silver flared in the early morning sun.

She scrambled back as fast as she could.


Blood gushed and sprayed and flowed from the body, as his head fell to the ground and rolled at her feet.

Terrified she stood up to find a strong arm wrapped around her hip, the
press of steel digging into her body.


A hand covered her mouth and pulled her back into his frame. His smell wrapped around her, death and desire.  Despair filled her. The feel of him haunted her. Tears fell down her cheeks as he moved his lips close to her ear. Her body trembled as he simply breathed her in.


Warm blood was quickly pooling under their feet. Her feverish mind wouldn't
let the image go. His grip flexed around her as they jumped back onto the nearest rooftop. Another flash of silver and the sword slid back into its sheath, without a sound, without even a whisper. Her body was turned to meet his eyes…


Blood red eyes with their tomoe spinning so tenderly...



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