Chapter 2 : Cold
Dark charcoal-colored eyes partially opened as the last Uchiha eyed the slight annoyance that was his cellmate.
She had curled up into herself hours ago and laid in a fetal position in the middle of the cell, trying to retain warmth as the air became frosty as the time continued to pass.
Her face had gone deathly pale. Her delicate fingers were white and her lips were barely colored as she trembled and shivered before him like an ill-shapen corpse. Her teeth clattered together every couple of minutes and constantly grated on his nerves the longer she remained in his presence.
Being an Uchiha had a lot of benefits, including but not limited to inheriting the affinity of fire. This affinity made his body temperature much higher than others of the same height and build.
Without it, he wouldn’t be able to survive long nights sleeping outside in the snow and blizzard-like weather. Yet it looked like the Hyuga had no such luck.
Although the cold air was nothing but a slight spring breeze to him, it was slowly causing the Hyuga girl to go into hypothermia.
His eyes lidded.
He didn’t care.
She was nothing but a nuisance and an annoyance to him. Had she still had her sight or the Byakugan, he would have attempted to keep her alive in hopes of using her to escape or until she outlived her purpose. But she had none of that now.
She was useless to him.
Perhaps, their captor was waiting for her to slowly perish just to torture him with the stench of her dying corpse. He would have to put up with her dead body rotting away and the maggots squirming across her decaying flesh until she was nothing except for white bones and pupil-less eye sockets, or however long he would be stuck here to see the process.
His nose wrinkled in disgust. It wasn’t as if this cell smelled any better, but he didn’t want to push his luck.
“Hyuga,” he near barked out his annoyance when her opalescent eyes groggily turned to his direction.
Her jaw clenched as she tried to stop them from chattering noisily in hopes of not agitating him any further. But at this point, it was already too late.
“H-hai, Uchiha-san?” Her throat was terribly dry, and her lips were cracked to the point that blood had spilled and crusted over hours ago.
Hinata knew that she had angered him somehow because his aura had become hostile, not that he wasn’t that way in the beginning. But now it seemed to hum in a rather menacing way, almost as if it was snapping out in irritation at her.
Hinata knew that she annoyed him.
“Come here,” he firmly ordered as she slowly maneuvered herself into a sitting position. Her legs were slightly numb from the hours spent sitting in the same position to preserve her warmth.
"Wh-what?” she squeaked more than spoke, wiping her face to rid of the grogginess in case she heard him wrong.
Had she irritated him enough that he wanted to kill her now?
Hinata whimpered in distress, her fingers curling into her palms as short nails bit sharply into her delicate flesh.
“Come here now unless you want to die of hypothermia,” he said, watching as the emotions flitted past her face in an array from confusion to fear before settling on anxiety and distress.
This girl wasn’t anything like her predecessors, he deemed.
Hyugas were known for their cunning, calculating, and icy cold countenance. Yet here she was, the complete opposite with a shy, meek, and innocent demeanor. She wore her emotions on her sleeves and constantly stuttered.
Sasuke was annoyed.
And the word “annoyed” was being used rather lightly here.
Hinata contemplated his words, her dull teeth biting into the insides of her cheek.
“Hyuga. I don’t want to deal with your corpse,” he warned, his voice low and menacing as his words finally spurred her into action.
He scared her.
Hinata tried to stand but found herself unable. Her knees dragged on the ground before she decided just to crawl to him instead.
The act itself was degrading, pitiful and rather embarrassing because she knew that he was watching her every move with eyes far more advanced than any other.
Although she couldn’t see him with her own two eyes, Hinata could feel and imagine his palpable and blazing aura in her mind’s eye. At the moment, his aura felt like a hot cup of cocoa in the middle of a snow ridden blizzard as it leaked its warmth outwards and managed to tempt her forward.
Did she want to die slowly from hypothermia or come into close enough range that the last Uchiha could easily kill her without a moment’s notice?
After she mulled over her thoughts, Hinata opted that she would rather die warm than cold. And so, she slowly made way to him, albeit more hesitantly and tentatively, as if she was making way to her death. She wanted to prolong it as long as she possibly could, working her heart into overdrive at the possibilities of what could happen.
Sasuke’s eyes narrowed.
Even without her speaking, he could see that she kept her guard up as her hands wavered and trembled the closer she came to him. Yet he couldn’t blame her for it. Not many would be stupid enough to walk towards him.
The Hyuga was a pathetic sight to see as she slowly crawled across the dirty ground with her head tipped downward. Each little movement caused long clusters of her silken hair to brush the floor of dirt and dried blood.
Before long, her hands tentatively reached forward and her cold fingertips butted against the flesh of his thigh and grazed his knee with a light touch. Her pale cheeks were quick to blush red, almost matching the color of her blood before she recoiled as if burned from just that slight contact. He seemed to emit a lot more heat than she was used to.
Along with the heat, was the slight spark of lightning and electricity that shocked her when her fingers had brushed his warm skin.
She had never been in close proximity to him in the past, not enough to actually touch his naked flesh.
Hinata was slightly dumbfounded at the situation. She barely contained a squeak of surprise as soon as her jumbled thoughts managed to collect themselves.
If the touch was anything to go by then she knew that Uchiha Sasuke was definitely naked and chained up against the wall like some sort of animal.
It was either that or he was wearing some rather short shorts, which was highly improbable for a man of his stature. Hinata nervously swallowed as she felt him squat down to her level before sitting fully onto the cold ground, narrowly seated on the puddle of dark blood that had collected beneath him. His hot breath fluttered past her freezing temple, warming her chilled face when he glanced downwards at her stiff countenance.
The chain rattled and stretched taut to its full limit as he pulled his aching limbs downward, resting his hands onto his knees as he couldn’t get his hands to touch from the confinement.
His entire body towered over the petite Hyuga, caging her with his much bigger 6′5 form.
Sasuke duly noted that the girl was fairly petite, barely filling the space as he lowered his legs on both sides of her. She had immediately stiffened in response to their proximity, back stiff and straight while dark lashes fluttered in slight discomfort.
His hot breath fluttered the hair at the top of her head and Hinata felt herself warm almost instantly as if sitting next to a small furnace or heater of some sorts.
They were almost a hairs width away from actually touching and he bemusedly noted that the Hyuga was sitting in seiza style, back taunt like an outstretched bow while arms were perched onto her lap. Her eyes were staring straight forward in shock or disbelief, he didn’t know. She acted as if she was about to perform a tea ceremony or entertain some guests as the host while in actuality, she was confined in this cell with him.
Sasuke found it rather unnerving the way she was as still as a corpse, the only indication that she was alive was the soft puffs of warm air that pillowed against his naked chest at each exhalation of her breath. He clicked his tongue in annoyance before finally reaching out, despite his dislike for touching others, and turned her body around, arranging her like a puppet as she trembled in his arms like a leaf in the wind. Sasuke’s hands were dreadfully hot on her extremely chilled flesh, stinging her cold skin at the initial contact but she didn’t mind in the least as her body warmed rather quickly because of his abnormally high body heat.
Hinata glanced at him through thick fuliginous lashes, head tipped upwards to gauge his aura before turning back and resting her straining eyes behind trembling lids.
Sasuke relaxed slightly now, back resting against the cold wall when her attention finally moved from his form.
He found it unnerving that even without her vision, her eyes still seemed to see right through him and that was much more irritating then the thought of her touching him.
Had she been one of his fan girls? He frowned.
He didn’t remember any Hyuga like her stalking him, but it certainly sparked a memory of an idiotic Hyuga girl with an unattractive bowl cut that followed the dobe around, blushing and fainting rather entertainingly at every turn.
“You’re the idiotic Hyuga that had a crush on the dobe.” He stated pointedly as she frowned, an embarrassed expression forming on her previously calm features and warmed her cood cheeks. Oddly, his words managed to bring color to her deathly pale face.
“T-that was a-along time ago.” She tried to justify lightly, almost indignantly with a stubborn tilt of her chin that made him slightly amused.
Hinata could feel bitterness taint her tongue as the old memories re-surfaced like an old reeling film that she could not stop with a simple button.
How could she forget?
There was no relationship, had never been any relationship.
Just solely misplaced one-sided feelings that didn’t carry her very far when the blonde had chosen to dismiss her feelings for that of brotherly and sisterly love. He didn’t even give her room to protest, didn’t even give her a chance; even though, she had adamantly confessed her feelings several times now. Once when she had sacrificed herself for him during the war and later, once again, thinking that he had been too injured to hear that confession of love. The third and fourth time was just a repeat where he refused to hear her out. She wasn’t important enough for him to even consider.
It had almost felt like a backhand to the face and somehow it had been enough to snap her out of her trance.
Finally after years and years of waiting, she had received closure on these feelings, long after, when she fell out of love with him. This left her feeling oddly bereft and bitter. Hinata had felt discontent. She had lost a hobby that had consumed a majority of her hours and it took her some time to readjust. Stalking him had been a consuming past time that was rather embarrassing to admit.
Perhaps, she had placed him onto a pedestal and worshiped him like a god and when she realized that he was just as human and prone to error as her, had her feelings fallen flat.
His numerous visits to the red light district and brothels with his sensei to supposedly ′collect information′ had managed to dispel any of the allusions she had placed on him thereafter.
Hinata admitted that the rejection had hurt and she had cried for hours on end before collecting the pieces of her broken heart. She knew that she had no one to blame but herself for her adamant assumptions and blatant obsession.
She was young and terribly foolish.
The sharp pin pricks of pain that quickly spread from her legs and to her waist that pulled her back from the oddly bereft memories. Her legs had started to go numb from sitting in seiza style, back aching as she tried to keep herself still.
She didn’t want to invade his space but her toes were going numb again and his body felt so warm and inviting against her back.
Hinata’s teeth bit down on her bruised bottom lip before she sagged tentatively, almost nervously against his strong chest while holding her breath for the inevitable.
He wouldn’t chidori her off would he?
Sasuke didn’t move in the slightest when Hinata finally leaned her weight fully back into him with a strong exhale of relief that he hadn’t decapitated her yet for invading his personal space.
At their current proximity, she could feel every inhalation and exhalation against her back. Their only separation was the thin cotton of her shirt and just the thought made her swallow nervously at the scandalous idea.
Hinata was quick to start fiddling with the tattered sleeve of her shirt, bringing her hands onto her lap as she straightened her legs out from underneath her. She found his warmth was comforting, lulling her body into relaxation; although, her brain was sending her signals to run and escape at once from this highly skilled predator currently facing her back.
Hinata had learned from experience never to turn your back to a predator no matter how weak they are and she was assured that Uchiha Sasuke was not weak. He could simply snap her neck without much effort and it was probably easy as breathing was for him.
She shivered unconsciously at the notion.
“Don’t get too comfortable, Hyuga.” He warned her, the vibrations of his words tickling her back as she stiffened lightly before sagging flaccidly against him.
She had never been so intimately pressed against a male like this before.
Not a naked one that is.
Her cheeks seemed to burn like a spreading fire at the last thought.
What would father say if he knew? Father couldn’t blame her for trying to save herself, would he?
She grimaced. Her fingers tightened, pricking the cotton of her shirt with her nails at the seemingly nerve wracking thought.
Sasuke sighed out in annoyance again, breath tousling her hair with every exhale while his warm flesh was intimately attached to her back.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
He hated people touching him and yet here he was, letting the Hyuga press against him for warmth like some charitable volunteer at the local church.
The little Hyuga had stopped trembling now, going quiet for the last five minutes with a thoughtful look on her face as if in deep thought.
They were seated so close, he could smell the scent of her metallic blood and sweat covering the natural pleasingly light scent of some sort of foreign flower and vanilla.
At least she didn’t smell half bad, he mused.
He leaned back fully against the wall and closed his eyes as the Hyuga tilted backwards, long black hair sticking to his flesh and blood with a startled squeak at his sudden movement. Once readjusted, she curled further into his body and he almost hissed out as her elbow grazed the open wound at his side from the rapid sensation of pain and torture that enveloped him.
The Hyuga was oblivious to his pain as her head turned from side to side, lips pursed with a slight curve of her delicate brows as if wanting to say something but unable to form the words.
“A-Ano. Did th-they hunt you down too, U-Uchiha-san?” She whispered the words cautiously, not wanting to offend him, yet curious as to how those evil woman had managed to capture him, one of the most strongest ninjas alive right now. It was impossible right?
He didn’t answer.
She patiently waited for almost seven minutes before swallowing the attempt at another verbal vomit.
He obviously wasn’t asleep because she could tell from his strained breathing. Perhaps, he thought of her as a nuisance and didn’t really deem her worthy talking to.
“A-A- -They had specifically targeted me f-f-for my Byakugan.” She tried to carry the conversation no matter the fact that she was never good at socializing or the fact that the person she was trying to converse with didn’t reply.
Again no reply from him.
She felt dejected but continued to tell him the story, stuttering and waiting for him to say something or even tell her to shut up if he didn’t want to hear her talk any longer.
But silence seemed to be his only reply.
Kiba, Shino and herself had been given a mission to deliver a highly important scroll to the Kage of a neighboring town when they were ambushed out of nowhere by those cruel women dressed in blood covered gowns the color of death.
These women were very powerful, bodies bulky and muscular even to that of a males. To her group’s embarrassment, there was only one of the women that attacked, the other one just watched as the one played around with Kiba and Shino, who had tried to protect her from them.
It was obvious that her team mates and her were in no way even near the skill and power these women had. Only 5 minutes in and Shino had been heavily injured, hundreds of bugs laid scattered on the ground as he fought for his life.
The women had targeted her, stated that they wanted her ‘pretty eyes’ and Hinata had frozen up in fear, she tried to fight but the women were so much stronger.
Kiba and Shino had been adamant about helping her escape.
The other woman watching in the back finally came towards her and was blocked by Kiba. Shino managed to knock one of the other woman unconscious but not without sustaining some very serious damage.
Hinata couldn’t help but grimace as she remembered all the blood that had stained the ground. Her shirt had been stained with both her teammates blood and she had not been able to do anything to help or save them.
Truthfully, Hinata was ashamed of herself.
She had been a coward.
She had run instead of sticking to her team mates.
From the corner of her eye, she had seen the woman toss both Kiba and Shino behind her, blood had made the whole area gruesome to look at.
Eventually, they had caught her. But by then, she had already managed to completely blind herself, hurting a major blood vessel inside the eyes that made them useless even if these women decided to take them from her.
They had dragged her struggling body with them, one even stating that now that her eyes were useless they could use her as a brood mare in order to raise Byakugan eyed children before taking those eyes from them, except they didn’t want to wait that long.
Which was highly improbable since the Byakugan was such a recessive trait that anyone without the doujitsu eyes, who dared to try to sire children with her, would be disappointed when the children came out being ordinary.
Why else would the Hyuga clan members be forced to breed within the same bloodline? Many married distant relatives or even their own cousins in order to sire strong children with the powerful traits. The Hyuga clan has always been attracted to power and anything but powerful Hyuga children would do.
The other dangerous woman had stated that they had to wait for their mistress to pass judgement to see if Hinata lived or died, especially now that she was nothing more than a useless piece of trash wasting their space and air.
Her eyes were beginning to fill with tears again as she remembered her predicament.
Sasuke shifted slightly, a barely audible sigh left his lips as he regarded the trembling girl who was starting to cry with slight sniffles here and there.
He hated dealing with crying women.
Crying is weakness and this Hyuga was the epitome of weak and docile.
“S-Sorry, U-Uchiha-san, I di-didn’t mean t-to cry on you,” she whimpered out, nearly audible words in between her attempts to hold back her sobs, shoulders heaving and trembling against his flesh. Sasuke’s eyes opened and then narrowed at the lump of a girl between his legs, a slight annoyed frown marring his features.
“Hn.” Came his slight grunt. Hinata felt as if this grunt from him meant something different.
Was he trying to comfort her? No. That wasn’t it. Perhaps, he pitied her.
Sasuke didn’t even know why he was letting the pathetic Hyuga cry against him. He couldn’t kill her at the moment as his hands were being chained back and his well of chakra was empty but even if his hands weren’t bound, he didn’t feel the urge to kill her like he had for many others.
He didn’t have a guilty conscience.
Her death would mean nothing to him.
She would just be another faceless corpse in his mind, the same corpse of the Hyuga girl that was sharing his cell and his body heat with wide innocent opalescent eyes and trembling lips.