Sasori intended to never return to where Bhairavi was locked away. He intended to stay far away and shove her out of his thoughts but unlike other times he had tried this, he was unsuccessful, which is why he found himself standing directly infront of her closed door debating on whether or not he should open it. His mind said 'no' but something else in him said 'yes'. It grew louder and louder with each breath he took and seemed to shout out with the frequency of his heartbeat. Wanting nothing more but to silence that voice, Sasori grasped the door handle in his steady hand and twisted the knob. He heard a faint click as it unlocked and then a slow steady creak as the door opened.
The light from the corridor reached out and touched the far walls of the room revealing Bhairavi who was curled up in a small ball on her bed. Sasori didn't mean to stare but he just couldn't tear his eyes away. She seemed so peaceful there in that vulnerable position which made him realize just how troubled and sad those large eyes of hers truely were.
Glancing over his shoulder to ensure that no one was watching, Sasori silently closed the door behind him plunging them both into absolute darkness. He didn't mind it like most did however. He had been raised in darkness and had excellent vision in it which helped him navigate the small room quietly. He found the drawer containing the candle sticks and quickly lit one. The flame illuminated the room immediately and Sasori took a seat beside the bed turning his steady gaze on Bhairavi. He didn't know why but he suddenly wondered what she was dreaming about. Were they dreams of her past? Or did she just dream? Maybe she didn't dream at all.
Bhairavi frowned in her sleep and turned over restlessly so that she now fully faced Sasori. Her scent lightly wafted towards him in the stale air and he caught a whiff of what could only be described as honey and sunshine. She smelled so pure and Sasori nearly reached out a hand and touched her. He caught himself however and shook his head clearing his thoughts.
"Angelick." Bhairavi whispered in her sleep dazedly. At the name Sasori frowned. Who was Angelick? Bhairavi didn't seem afraid, if anything she seemed...troubled now. More restless and figety. An extremely strange urge overcame Sasori. One he'd never felt before. He felt the urge to comfort her. Before he could scold himself for having such a ridiculous thought, Bhairavi cried out and...actually screamed. It was a sound that made Sasori's blood run cold and his heart clench with an unknown feeling. He even very nearly...reacted. A scream had never done that before. Never.
"Angelick." She whimpered again, "Dont..dont die." Something glistened off her cheeks and with a start Sasori realized that she was crying. His thumb tingled with the strange urge to wipe them away but he clenched it in his fist and forced away the waves of the strange hurt coursing through him. Why was he upset? Nothing even happened to him. Clenching his jaw, Sasori decided a second time in his life that Bhairavi wasn't good for him. It wouldn't do to be around her, he needed to leave but before he could go Bhairavi's eyes snapped open and the force of her golden frightened eyes was enough to stop him from going any further. It was as if some unknown force was holding him there and he gazed back into her eyes with an intensity he didn't know he had.
"Why are you here?" She asked sitting up. Sasori was the last person she expected to see when she woke up.
"Who's Angelick?" Sasori asked completely ignoring her earlier question. He didn't want to tell her that he couldn't stay away. He took note of her immediate change of posture, the way her shoulders drooped and how a little bit of that brilliant light left her eyes and suddenly he wished he hadn't asked.
Bhairavi didn't know why she answered him. She just seemed to let slip whatever it was what Sasori wanted to hear.
"She was..." Bhairavi swallowed hard to keep her voice from breaking and then started again, "She was like a daughter to me. We shared the same pain and hopelessness but because we had eachother we knew everything would be alright. No matter how bad things got she always remained so sweet and kind. She was just a child. I loved her. I loved her so much." Now Bhairavi couldn't stop the tears as she recalled the struggles her and Angelick shared.
Before Sasori could question her further Bhairavi was choking out words once more needing to just...let it out.
"The next time they came and tried to force me to sing I did what I always did. I refused. They started hurting me trying to force it out of me but it didn't matter to me. I hated them. Hated what they had become. It mattered to Angelick though. She couldn't stop screaming. They knew I hated her pain. They knew it. So they used it. They-"
Bhairavi's voice broke off and she took deep breathes trying to force away her sorrow only for it to return with a vengence. When she finally controlled her breathing she continued determined not to stop.
"They took her out and they beat her too. I screamed at them to stop but then the leader he...he got this awful idea. He took his boot, set it on Angelick's ribcage and he pressed. I can still hear her screaming. I gave in. I sang for them but it was too late for Angelick. She died the next day and it was all my fault. If I hadn't been so stubborn and just [i]sang[/i] for them she would still be here." Bhairavi finished putting her head in her hands and sobbing for all it was worth.
Sasori didn't know what to think or do. He was torn. Go against who and what he was and all that he had learned to reach out and comfort her? Or merely wait for her to gain control of herself again? Before he could decide however Bhairavi peered at him between her fingers and said, "You know she was only five years old? She still believed that a pot of gold was at the end of a rainbow and that good always won over bad in the end. She thought that the sacred fireflies would come and save us and lead us to a better place. She never lost her faith." A new batch of sobs racked Bhairavi's small body and once again Sasori was torn. Bhairavi decided for him however. Her head rested on his shoulder and his arm automatically wound around her shoulders as if it had done just that many times before.
Bhairavi was amazed by the warmth of the ray of comfort Sasori offered and she wanted to be closer to it. She wound her arms around his stomach and rested her head in the crook of his neck not caring if she barely knew him or not. Uncertainly, Sasori wrapped his arms around her not believing what he was doing.
When the sobs subsided to silent tears Bhairavi finally took notice of where she was at. She ignored how nice it was to be held by Sasori and pulled away appalled by herself.
"I-I'm sorry." She said wiping away her stray tears with the back of her hand.
"It's alright." Sasori said softly still wondering why it felt so good to hold Bhairavi in his arms. What was wrong with him? This wasn't his nature at all.
When she had finally pulled herself together she repeated her earlier question. "Why are you here?" This time however Sasori wasn't afraid to answer, "I don't know." If Sasori hadn't been watching her so closely he would have missed the small smile that graced her lips. He'd never seen her smile. It was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen but it was gone just as quickly as it came.
"You know, you're the first person to visit me and not demand that I sing for them." She whispered and that beautiful light that had fled her eyes re-entered them in an instant making them sparkle. He liked her eyes the most with that spark of life in them he decided.
"I won't make you sing if you don't want to." He found himself saying. Bhairavi was silent for a moment processing his words and then re-running them through her head once more. It was the most beautiful sentence she'd ever heard. "Thank you." She said.
When Sasori left, Bhairavi couldn't stop thinking about the way his presence made her heart stutter or beat eratically. It was almost as if he made her heart dance. The slightest of smiles formed on her lips as she hugged her pillow close and kept smelling the refreshing smell of wood shavings and earth. A reminder that Sasori was real and that kindness did exist in the depths of the Akatsuki base.
It was Hidan who brought her food that day. He sneered at her as he set the trey down and said in such a hateful tone that it make Bhairavi flinch, "Well if it isn't my most favorite freak." Bhairavi bit her tongue to prevent herself from saying something rude back and instead said, "Thank you for the food."
"Don't mention it, though I don't know why we waste it on you." Hidan didn't stay longer than he had to. He hated being near her. She made him feel...strange. She made him doubt himself and in the Akatsuki, that wasn't a good thing.
Bhairavi looked down at her food dismayed. Her extreme hunger had worn off making her dread the first spoonful of the stuff she was expected to eat. She didn't want to waste it though and she definately didn't want to complain so she ate it without complaint not pausing to taste it.
After she had finished, Bhairavi sat back and thought about anything other than the darkness and her lonliness. She thought about how nice the soft green grass felt between bare toes at the beginning of spring, and how pleasent fresh cut hay smelt just after it rained. She could almost imagine herself standing in the forest listening to the birds sing and enjoying the light breeze as it caressed her cheeks.
A few minutes later Bhairavi's day dreams were interrupted when something in her stomach didn't agree. She suddenly felt like she was burning up on the inside, like there was fire beneath her skin licking away at her flesh and a putrid taste arose in her mouth.
Bhairavi didn't think twice as soon as the sickness arose. She dashed towards the door to find it unlocked after Hidan's visit and just made it into the hallway before she spewed the contents of her stomach all over the corridor floor. She heaved and heaved even after she had nothing else to vomit up.
Finally she sat back exhausted, her stomach twisting and turning painfully, and her skin clammy and suddenly cold. What was wrong with her?
The edges of her vision began to blur slightly so Bhairavi attempted to stand, knowing that she needed to find help even if that help came from her captors. On shaky, wobbly legs Bhairavi inched slowly along using the walls for support. Her head swam and the dark spots infront of her eyes began to multiply. She had barely gone three feet before the darkness comsumed her and she tumbled to the floor, unconcious even before she hit the ground.
Falling. Falling. Beautiful white shapes of matter floated softly and silently by. They drifted in a breeze that Bhairavi could not feel. Tentively, she reached out a hand and allowed one to rest on the tip of her finger. Soft, like she imagined clouds would feel like. Her long black hair streamed infront of her as if the wind blew behind her. She felt weightless. She felt free. For the first time in years, she felt...happy. She didn't realize she was falling until she hit the ground. It didn't hurt, she only vaguely felt the impact of her body hitting something solid and then she was laying there, staring up at the drifting white forms that resembled beautiful, white, clean snow. They settled around her, cloaking her in their softness. One rested on the tip of her nose and another drifted by her cheek, grazing it in its descent. Her hands, spread out beside her clutched at the objects blanketing her. Words came then, fast and furious, too fast for her to grasp. One word paused though. Not for long but long enough for Bhairavi to taste. Feathers it whispered.
"Feathers." Bhairavi whispered again testing the weight of the words. She wasn't sure if it was the steady hum of the machinery or the sound of her own voice that roused her but when her eyes slowly slid open, it was Kakazu she saw.
"What?" Kakazu asked staring at Bhairavi with a strange look. Bhairavi allowed her head to tilt to the side so she could take in her surroundings better. The steady hum she was hearing was from the machines that were hooked up to her monitering her heart and breathing rate. The room was plain, everything was white and tidy but thats not what held Bhairavi's interest. It was the light that bathed the room. Eagerly, she turned her head in the direction it was coming from coming face to face with a window. She nearly cried at the sight of the bright green grass and tall swaying trees.
That dull ache in her heart slowly began to ebb and the very real pain in her head and stomach eased almost immediantly. She heard the steady creak of a door as it swung open and didn't even need to look to know who entered. She felt it in the air, that heavy malicious feel that threatened and battled with the light that Bhairavi begged not to leave.
"Whats wrong with her?" She heard him ask. She had to bite her tongue to prevent herself from asking what was wrong with him.
"I don't know Pein-sama. I found her passed out in the corridor surrounded by puke. It appears her body was trying to reject something. Her heart rate was unbelievably fast even while unconcious. I tested her for poison but nothing showed. Everything looked normal. Still, her symptoms are most unusual. Its evident that she didn't make herself sick. So the question leads to what her body was rejecting."
Bhairavi tried not to focus on how not even her captors knew what was wrong with her and instead watched a bird flit from one tree to the next content with just watching the grass sway in the breeze she so desperately wished she could feel.
"She seems to be stable now, what did you give her?" Pein muttered and Bhairavi could feel him move closer. She could only pray he wouldn't touch her.
"I didn't, Before I could even diagnose her symptoms I sensed an improvement in her health. It was as if being in this very room made her better.
"What's so different about this room." She heard Pein mutter. She could almost feel his eyes roam over and stop at the window in which she stared so intently out of. He made the connection, she was sure of it.
Apparantly, Pein chose to ignore it and instead said, "She needs to regain her strength, bring her some food, she must be hungry."
At the mere mention of food Bhairavi felt queasy. Before she could refuse however she was being propped up by Pein himself, much to her discomfort, and a steaming tray of delicious looking food was set before her. She knew it looked apetizing, yet at the same time it didn't. She didn't feel hunger, or even the slightest bit of desire to eat it. She stared at the steaming plate of food and then glanced up at the expectant faces of Kakazu and Pein.
"Eat." It wasn't a suggestion, it was an order.
Picking up her fork, Bhairavi tried to force herself to eat. The moment it sat on her tongue she spat it out in disgust. It tasted like ash. The most putrid, awful, tasting substance she had ever placed in her mouth infact. Almost immediantly, she was aware of Pein's piercing gaze.
"Quit being picky." He snapped. Shaking her head she braced herself and stuffed another mouthful in quickly, the moment it slid down her throat however she was convulsing and spitting it back out. Even after the food was emptied from her stomach she continued to retch until her throat felt raw. Breathing heavily, she pushed her still full plate away and refused to look at the faces of Kakazu and Pein.
"We know now what her body was rejecting." Kakazu finally offered after a few minutes of silence.
Igorning the comment, Pein asked the one thing that was on everyone's mind, "What are you?"
Glaring out the window again Bhairavi answered back bitterly, "A person." She was sick of people forgetting.
A few minutes later Bhairavi was left alone to her thoughts as she gazed out the window. Her heart was sieged with such longing that it hurt from the intensity of it. Why couldn't she just be happy? That was all she ever asked for, and instead, she had everything taken from her and was given a life full of nothing but pain and suffering. Silent tears streamed down her cheeks and trickled down to her ears. Slowly, she became aware of the hushed voices just outside her door.
"I think it would be in our best interest to experiment on her, see how else she's different." she heard Kakazu mutter. Her heart immediately clenched in fear at the thought of them conducting experiments on her. Not even the Akatsuki would do something so horrible would they? An image of Hidan's twisted smile as his dagger found its mark surfaced in Bhairavi's mind and she shuddered suddenly realizing that the the Akatsuki were capable of such a task.
"No, no one touches her but me." The underlying possessive tone in Pein's voice was impossible to miss. She could almost feel his hungry, desiring eyes burn through the door as if he could find her behind its form.
She nearly missed Kakazu's gruff reply due to the fear rippling through her veins. "Fine." He muttered in his ominous dark tone. She could hear the disatisfaction in his tone clearly and feared Kakazu a little more for it.
She watched as the door knob slowly twisted and crept open and tried to push down her rising fear when Pein stepped through the door and calmly walked towards her.
"Please don't make me go back there. It's too dark." Bhairavi whispered hating herself for sounding so weak. The light pouring from her window was slowly awakening her senses and her skin tingled wherever the golden rays lapped across it. She never wanted to leave its comfort.
Pein stopped approaching and eyed her with a curious look. Bhairavi could almost see the wheels turning in his head but from the slight tightening around his eyes, she knew nothing in his mind was clicking into place. She still puzzled him and she felt a small twinge of satisfaction because of it. Let him mull it over. She hoped he never figured out what it was he was puzzeling over.
"Do as you're told and sing when we ask and I'll allow you to remain where you are. Disobey me once and your punishment will be severe." He finally said. Bhairavi couldn't bring herself to nod in agreement. She merely turned her head to the side and looked away from him and into the light of her window savoring its warmth. She didn't hear him leave but she felt his presence disappear making the air in the room seem cleaner and purer somehow. She breathed a little easier.
A set of locks could be heard clicking into place and this time, when the door shut locking her in, it didn't lock away the light with it. She was left alone basking in its brilliance and that alone was enough to keep her spirit alive. For hours she focused on the world just beyond her reach and dreamed so hard about how soft the grass must feel between her toes that she could almost feel it grazing her flesh.
Thats how Hidan found her the next morning when he was ordered to bring her a glass of water. Watching and waiting for something. As if the light alone could build her a bridge so she could cross into something better. He could almost touch the hope that radiated off her skin.