The Illusion of Freedom
I do not own any of the characters from Naruto. The only one in my story I do own is Bhairavi, she is a figment of my immagination completely. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy the chapter.
Bhairavi didn't know what to think of Sasori. She knew he was evil just like her other captors yet there was something about the darkness that seemed to coil around Sasori's heart that seemed almost....reversable. Less prominent from the others. There was something about that darkness that drew her to it as if beckoning her to reach out a hand and take a hold of it. She felt a need wrestle it away from Sasori but why she only felt that way in the presence of Sasori and not the other criminals was beyond her. She didn't know what to think of him and that was just as frightning as being held captive by a group of cold hearted murderers.
Glancing down at the small nub her glowing candle had become, Bhairavi realized that being plunged into the darkness was inevitable. Her small ray of comfort would soon disappear. Before the light completely faded however, a knock resided at the door before it slowly crept open. Startled Bhairavi looked up at the intruder wanting nothing more but to shrink back in fear at the being before her.
He flashed her a toothy smile as his strange pale white fish eyes bore into her. For some reason, it wasn't the blue skin or spiked up blue hair that drew her attention, it was the gill slits underneath his eyes. He was the strangest creature she had ever seen, besides the cannibal Zetsu of course. Such strange characters the akatsuki housed she thought.
He carried with him a tray and as the pleasing aroma of food wafted towards her she realized he had brought her food. Deciding the threat of starvation posed more of a threat than this strange fish man Bhairavi scooted closer eagerly, her stomach growling in response.
"So you're the new toy huh?" he said setting the food before her. Bhairavi didn't bother correcting him like she had Sasori. Instead she busied herself with the delicious array of food set before her. It wasn't really the best selection of food, but to Bhairavi, it was the best meal she'd ever eaten.
The fish man watched her in morbid fascination as she shoveled down the strange unappealing concoction Hidan had recently put together in the hopes that it would disdain her. That apparantly wasn't the case. He didn't even know why they were keeping her. What was so special about her?
She finished her meal in a matter of minutes and even licked her fingers for good measure. She apparantly seemed to have enjoyed the meal and he knew Hidan would be angry knowing his hard effort at making it as disgusting as he possibly could had gone to waste. The strange blue akatsuki member smirked at the thought of the irate religious criminal.
Taking up the tray he turned to leave but then she spoke to him. It was a soft musical sound that for some reason made him think of a lazy summer day in a field of flowers. Shaking off that ridiculous thought he turned once more to face her taking a minute to process the absurd question she had just asked. Taking in his astonished face she asked it again.
"How is it you have gills?" No one had ever asked him that. The question was always 'what are you?' or they were just to afraid to ask.
"I was born this way." He said recovering from the shock. Her eyes grew bright with curiosity and if he wasn't mistaken...was that a hint of awe he saw sparkle behind those large golden orbs?
"Really? Can you breathe underwater then?" She asked scooting closer, actually scooting closer to someone considered a monster!
"Well naturally." He said giving her another sharp toothed grin giving her the impression of a hungry shark.
"wow. I always wanted to be able to breathe underwater. It seems so peaceful and quiet there like where here only your voice is heard but there, its only your thoughts." Bhairavi said momentarily forgetting where and who she was.
The blue man paused taking in her small, soft, innocent features and wide unusual golden eyes before asking,
"Why are you here? Whats your skill?" he asked causing her to grow solemn once more. Even he could see in the few moments that he's known her that she'd never hurt anyone let alone be a member of a murderering organization which made him quite interested as to why she was there.
Bhairavi fidgeted a little underneath his heavy gaze before looking away and replying, "Well I sing."
"You're here because you...sing?" He asked dubiously.
"Yes." she whispered. Just as the word escaped her lips, her candle chose at that moment to go out and plunge them both into darkness. The blue akatsuki member was about to say that there was no way Pein-sama would keep her alive simply because she could sing well but then decided against it since she was still alive and didn't appear to be lying. He never was one to say unnecessary things.
Suddenly the door creaked open once more allowling a tiny sliver of light through catching Bhairavi's eye. The dim candle light from the entry way caused her eyes to sparkle.
"Kisame, let's go." A familiar voice called from the other side of the door. Bhairavi reconized it to be Itatchi's. Kisame sighed but turned to leave. Bhairavi didn't know why she said it but the words escaped her mouth without her permission, "Those kids, they didn't really mean what they said. They were just scared. They didn't understand you because you were different. Don't hate them."
Kisame paused. "What did you say?" He asked a little gaurdedly.
"Your heart. There's so much hate and resentment there. You have a beautiful wonderful gift. You'd be so much happier if you embraced it." Bhairavi whispered reaching out for that darkness she saw coiling around Kisame's heart. She had no way of knowing that it was too late for Kisame, it had already wound itself around his soul and mingled with his life essence. There was no going back for Kisame.
The muscles around Kisame's eyes tightened as he regarded the girl. He didn't like that probing he felt that tickled and pulled in his chest. It was as if someone or something was evading his privacy and he didn't like it one bit. He also didn't like how the girl knew so much about him already. He had walled up and sealed away those forgotten emotions long ago. Even he had forgotten why it was his heart twisted in pain and his jaw clenched in anger when he laid eyes on normal looking people. He just assumed what everyone else assumed. That he was a cold hearted murderer who hated people. Short and simple, no hidden childhood emotion lurking in the depths of his soul. So how could years and years of strengthening those walls surrounding his emotions with the akatsuki be suddenly pulled down in a matter of minutes in the presence of one mesely girl?
Kisame simply sneered at her in extreme distaste before exiting the room. Bhairavi was once again plunged into absolute darkness.
Bhairavi waited alone in the darkness for what felt like forever. Would it always be like this she wondered? After five years of being all alone in the dark she had grown used to it. So why did she suddenly feel so lonely?
Without meaning to Bhairavi drifted asleep right there in the middle of the floor. For the first time in a long time she dreamt of something pleasant. She dreamt of Angelick. In it, Angelick whispered to her, over and over again. Bhairavi was too busy watching the light glint off her brilliant blonde curls and her blue eyes glow and sparkle with warmth to really listen to what the child was saying. Not till the end that is. "let it out." she whispered.
Bhairavi's eyes snapped open and she was immediately greeted by the darkness that enveloped the room in a cloud of misery. Angelick's words echoed in her head as she slowly sat up staring longingly at the tiny crack beneath her door which filtered in a small amount of light. She wanted to be in that light she decided sliding closer to the door. She didn't want to stay in this room and waste away in the darkness either she thought standing up and grabbing that gold hard door knob in her hand prepared to twist it and allow it to open her gateway to freedom. Even as the light chased away the shadows and spilled into her room and across her grateful face and her eager foot stepped out into the hallway she knew she could never be free. Freedom for her was simply an illusion. She rejoiced in it though. She was grateful even if it was cruel and unforgiving.
As her eyes adjusted to the light she slowly and softly shut the door to her prison. The corridors she walked along were the same as the ones she saw slung over Kakazu's shoulder. Long, malicious, and frightening. The shadows the light simply could not cast away seemed to glide across the walls and follow her through the endless maze. Her heart pounded in her chest a mile a minute and her eyes darted from side to side. Her feet seemed to have a will of its own as it progressed down the corridor and Bhairavi wished the door had been locked so she wouldn't have been tempted.
"Who are you?" a cold voice asked making her freeze and stiffen in absolute terror. She had no idea what to say but somehow she managed to squeak out, "Bhairavi." She wasn't sure he could hear her over the rapid beat of her heart.
"Turn and face me beautiful I already know what you look like un." Slowly Bhairavi turned to face her adresser. Out of everyone she had seen in the Akatsuki besides Hidan he looked...normal. Well despite how femine he looked. If Bhairavi hadn't heard his voice she never would have known he was a guy. It was his long blonde hair she guessed. Only one eye was visible due to his blonde bangs covering half his face and the one eye she could see shone a bright clear blue. Not like Angelick's whose was light and innocent, his were dark and malicious much like everything in the Akatsuki base. He wore the characteristic Akatsuki red and black cloak and his headband also wore a long jagged scratch through the symbol.
"Why are you here un?" He asked taking a step forward and smirking when she took a step back. She didn't question why he added 'un' to every sentence he spoke but rather asked him something he did not expect to hear. "Can I touch your hair." He was taken aback. No one had ever asked him that before. Bhairavi was insistent though, something about his long, silky, golden locks fascinated her. Maybe it was the startling resemblance to Angelicks.
Before he could protest Bhairavi was standing directly infront of him and taking up a lock of his long hair in her small hands running her fingers easily through it. "It's so soft." She whispered in awe. Suddenly he pulled back now glowering at her.
"You're her aren't you? The brat the zombie brothers drug in. I won't let you get to me though un! Let's go, you belong back in your cage un." He said taking her arm in prepreration to drag her back down the hallway. She immediately flinched at the contact.
Bhairavi had never complained before. She was always severly punished if so much as a single whimper escaped her lips but after her wonderfully sweet few moments of almost freedom, Bhairavi was willing to risk a single complaint added with a plea. Anyting to taste that sweet almost freedom just a little longer.
"I dont want to go back in there! please! just a little longer!" He didn't pause. If anything his hand around her wrist tightened. As she stumbled along with him she recalled vaguely feeling a wavering in the man's aura at her pleas...almost a caving. Was that...was that emotion she had felt? Suddenly plain and clear she could see it. A cage and a little white bird. A boy's small hand plucked open the cage door and the bird was free soaring into the air elated to be free at last. She saw a glimpse of a smile but then it was gone. Gone when the angry shouts erupted and a tall man advanced in an outrage. Gone was the boy who loved to free things. Gone when he watched his freed bird go up in flames. Then just like it had come the vision was gone leaving a bitter taste in Bhairavi's mouth.
"It was you." She whispered giving up on her struggle.
"what un?" he asked loosening his grip when he saw that she didn't intend to run.
"It was you who freed the white bird in the cage. You loved to watch them fly didn't you? You especially loved to hear them sing. But then something horrible happened didn't it? I'm so sorry." Bhairavi whispered as a fresh batch of tears pooled into her eyes and rolled down her cheeks.
"How did-" He started but then his astonishment quickly turned to anger, "Get out of my head you little freak!!!" He shouted turning to face her and grabbing her shoulders. The tears continued to fall.
"Deidara, release her." A cold voice commanded. Bhairavi watched as the anger slowly vanished from his eyes and his tight grip on her shoulders loosened.
"Deidara." the voice warned and at the tone Deidara immediately stepped back finally releasing his hold on Bhairavi.
The one who had addressed Deidara turned out to be the last person Bhairavi wanted to see. His orange eyes watched her like a predator does its prey and the candle light cast shadows on his pale feautures. More shadows then it should have as if the shadows of the corridor were drawn to him. Clinging to his vicious malevolent hate like a barnacle does a whale. Out of all the murderers in the akatsuki base, he was the one who frightened her the most. She didn't know a single thing about him, the darkness surrounding him was untouchable. There was no good in this man and that was why Bhairavi feared him so.
"And why are you out of your cage my little canary? I thought I made it clear that you were mine."
If Bhairavi didn't fear him so she would have outright denied belonging to anyone and defiantly refused to go back to her room but she was helpless.
"I just...I just wanted to go outside." She said hating how her voice sounded weak and fragile. Not even the tiniest fragment of emotion entered Pein's eyes as he watched the girl flinch away from his gaze.
"You're our prisoner, prisoners don't get privileges. Come." He said taking her arm and pulling her down the corridor. His hand was cold against her skin and it made goosebumps rise up along her arm in fear. The shadows she saw mingling around him tried to edge their way towards her but always retreated back before they could touch her as if her skin itself repelled them. She wondered why it was only her who seemed to notice them.
She glanced back over her shoulder to see Deidara still standing there with a calm calculated look on his face. When his eyes met hers she flinched at the hatred simmering behind them. At that moment Bhairavi knew that Deidara hated her too. Just as Kisame and Hidan did. She wondered if they hated everyone or if she was simply unlikeable.
When they reached Bhairavi's room Bhairavi reluctantly entered afraid to stay any longer in the hall with the terrible man named Pein. Unfortunately he followed her inside. He was quiet and with her back to the closed door she didn't know he was in her room with her until he spoke.
"Im willing to let this slide if you sing me a song little canary." He said lighting a candle.
"I wont sing for you." The response was immeidate. It was right at the edge of her tongue just waiting to roll off it. She seemed to forget with whom she was speaking to however. Pein was a very calculative precise person. After years of experience in torturing people and forcing them to do things that suited his interests he learned how to read them. How to make them cave to his will.
"You like light don't you? well unfortunately the only means of light here this far underground are candle sticks. I think if we were to say...eliminate your supply of them you might reconsider." He said testing her. Seeing how far she would go to keep him from what he wanted. He almost dared her. He had grown so very bored these last few years. It's been a long time since someone interested him so.
"Go ahead." She said stubbornly crossing her arms across her chest and turning her back to him. Under normal circumstances Pein would have become angered by her plain show of defiance and may have even tortured and killed her by now, but for some reason his lip twitched in slight amusement. Breaking her spirit would be fun. Much more fun than simply killing her.
"I could...break a few apendages or limbs...would that change your mind?" He asked taking a step closer to her. She didn't even waver, "No." He suddenly understood that she would never cave if the threats were directed at her. She didn't care what happened to her, she didn't care if it was [i]her[/i] privileges being taken away.
"Ah...then how about we have us a little human sacrifice everytime you refuse to sing. How does that sound?" at this she whirled around, her eyes wide in the candle light and Pein knew he had found his playing card. Tears filled her eyes as she realized that he had won.
"Fine. You win." She spat out venomously. She turned her back to him again and then asked softly, "What would you like to hear?" Pein smirked at his victory.
"You decide." taking her time Bhairavi thought of all the bitter, vengeful, hurtful songs she knew before finally selecting the perfect one. Satisfied with her choice she quickly launched into it. It was sung in her native tongue and she lashed out the verses in perfect bitter tones. Her voice was clear and true like it always is, yet somehow fiercer and more frightening.
When she finished she turned to face Pein who wore his usual emotionless mask.
"Satisfied?" She spat.
"For now. You can expect a visit from me tomorrow." He said turning to leave.
"It was about you, you know." Bhairavi said just before he left. She was just so angry at him and the situation she was in that she couldn't stop from saying it.
"What?" he asked a tad taken aback.
"It was about a man so evil his heart rotted out of his chest and withered away in his crop field. The evil that ate away at his heart entered the soil and ate away at his crops and everyone elses corroding the land and killing everything it touched. Im sure that it was about you." Bhairavi said with certainty. At this Pein tilted back his head and actually laughed. It was humorless because it held no emotion. Just a rough stretched out chortle coming from a dark cloudy shell. "You honor me then my little canary." He said mock bowing. That evil glint never left his eyes and the shadows around him never loosened their grip. He was still and always would be the dark cruel manipulator.
"Until next time songbird." He whispered shutting the door and much to Bhairavi's dissapointment taking the light with him.
Bhairavi didn't try the door again. She knew that it would be locked.