Chapter 4 : Open Wounds
The Hyuga had been sitting in that seiza style for four agonizing hours now, sniffling here and there, face blotchy from all of her terrified emotions.
“Eat, Hyuga. I don’t want to hear your stomach grumble any longer,” he pointedly ordered, noting how white her knuckles had become, flesh probably cold now from how long she had sat away from him.
She had lasted longer than he had thought. It had been almost two days now since she had arrived in his cell, sharing his same breathing space and he knew her to be extremely hungry, yet she deferred from her food.
She had prayed to it after all.
Although there were no windows and the cell itself was encased in mostly darkness, Sasuke had been keeping track of the time. Counting down every day, hour, minute, and second.
His sense of time was immaculate.
“I-I can’t.” She whimpered pitifully, unseeing eyes welling with un-shed tears for their ‘meal’. They dropped like pearls downwards at varying speeds when she sniffled and wiped her face with a sleeve.
“You won’t have any strength to escape if you starve yourself to death.” He reasoned with her, watching her face contort in anguish and despair at the truth in his words.
Sasuke didn’t say anything after that. Instead, he chose to watch the Hyuga as another two hours slowly trickled by.
Finally, with grueling slowness her trembling hands reached out and hesitantly grasped a small piece of the meat, now cold from sitting there for so long.
Had the Hyuga chosen to eat it while it was still slightly warm, it would have been a much easier feat to swallow, but now that it was stagnantly cold, it was going to be far more harder to get down.
He’d have to applaud her if she succeeds in swallowing the first mouthful.
Pearl white teeth softly bit into a small corner, but the meat was tougher and far more resilient to her soft bites. The blood trickled down her chin, tainting her pale face along with the streaks of tears as she bit more forcefully until she was able to remove a small chunk enough to fit her lips around.
Her face contorted in pain, emotionally and mentally drained from such a disgusting act.
Hinata had pep talked herself into actually biting into the meat and the taste was more disgusting than anything she had ever had to eat.
But he was right.
How did she intend to survive if she didn’t eat? She was a ninja. She couldn’t let something like this tear her down.
She had to be strong. She couldn’t let him see how weak and broken she was.
But it was so slimy and slick, rolling around the top of her tongue as she tried to chew it with small fruitless bites.
It took her almost fifteen minutes to stop gagging before she actually got herself to swallow the cold meat and by then the sticky blood on her lips and chin had already dried.
The blood had dried on her cheeks yet her doe like innocence seemed to shine through and he wondered what would it take to extinguish that.
What could kill off that light in her eyes?
Soon after, Hinata’s tears finally subsided as she forced the meat down, holding her breath so that it wouldn’t try to come back up. This had to be the most hardest thing she had ever had to do.
Her stomach gurgled in protest as the urge to heave made her lungs burn.
Sasuke watched on in amusement at the situation.
Only the Hyuga princess could make eating human flesh seem almost natural, taking tentative bites in a rather elegant and demure way as if she was eating a high class meal inside her clan castle.
He found it laughable.
Sasuke wondered what her reaction would be if he had told her he actually knew who it was that they had both consumed. Would she burst into tears or would she kowtow until her forehead was raw in prayer?
Either case would be amusing to see.
The Hyuga had finished a small chunk and had quickly gulped down a mouthful of water to push the meat down, face far paler than he was used to seeing. Sasuke found it amusing either way. At least she provided a form of entertainment for him.
Yet he couldn’t help but wonder, was she going to puke it back out now that she had managed to swallow all of it?
Her face had turned slightly pasty and olive colored.
She had tried as hard as she could to keep the food down enough so that it would digest and give her energy but her stomach was having none of that.
Almost 45 minutes later, Sasuke had managed to point her over to the metal bucket aligned with the wall to the left of him as her face went green.
The sounds of her gagging and choking as she puked the remnants of the meal from her body resounded off of the walls and throughout the dungeon as he tried to meditate.
By the time she was done, her whole body was trembling, shaking in fervor as she washed her mouth and face with their drinking water.
The slight burn of her eyes was quickly swallowed down with the water. She didn’t want to look weak in front of him but everything that was happening was taking a toll on her body, mentally and physically.
She really didn’t know how long she would be able to last in here like this before everything became too much for her to handle. How he managed to do it was a mystery to her.
“I-I’m so-sorry, Uchiha-san,” she whispered pathetically as he grunted in reply, eyes closing in meditation.
Why was she even apologizing to him?
Hinata shifted from foot to foot, unsure of how to approach him. She was getting gradually colder again, skin almost pasty white now and she needed his warmth desperately.
Yet her pride and embarrassment was keeping her from crawling back to him and she knew he was waiting for her next move.
Hinata bit her lip lightly before deciding that survival was a necessity compared to her pride.
What was the worth of pride when she is dead?
She tentatively bent down and made her way back to him, calculating how many steps she needed to be before her hands reached for his knee.
Sasuke’s eyes opened, watching her hands waver, reaching out for him before sighing out in exasperation. His extremely warm hands grabbed her icy cold wrists and with a sharp tug, she lost her balance and went tumbling into his lap, soft cheeks slamming onto his naked chest and rounded bottom narrowly missing his girth. His teeth grit as the wall bit into his back, opening another handful of wounds he really didn’t need to reopen again, not that it wasn’t going to happen eventually.
She wanted to apologize but had been knocked slightly off kilter from the fall and could only lay there gasping for breath while her body warmed up from his heat.
The chain rattled lightly still from the sharp movement and was the only sound to occupy the room now that the Hyuga had sagged into his body, completely depleted of energy. Her breathing had calmed considerably and they wallowed in the silence comfortably when Hinata noted how numb her fingers were.
They still hadn’t warmed up yet, contrary to the fact that she was literally attached to a human heater. Hinata cautiously curled her fingers around his arm, seeping the warmth off of his skin when his muscles bunched under her touch at the unexpected coldness of her hands.
“I-I’m sorry, m-my fing-fingers are cold,” she said, voice inexplicably soft and feminine to him as he almost rolled his eyes.
“Stop apologizing, Hyuga.” He couldn’t stand it. She apologized for everything and it definitely annoyed him more than he said.
Hinata suppressed a shiver at hearing his deep baritone voice filter past her burning ears. She meeped out a barely audible ‘hai’ before turning her body slightly to once again press her cold nose against his chest, cheeks blushing an endearing shade of pink in an attempt to hide from him using his body.
Which was a ludicrous idea. How can she hide from him using him?
It seemed almost adorable- -no- - it was ugly and unjustified, he tried to reason with himself before taking a deep breath to meditate again.
Adorable is not in his vocabulary.
Hinata couldn’t help but contemplate how staggering the amount of intimacy seemed to increase now that they were cell mates. Years ago, neither had ever attempted to converse with the other. They had barely even said a greeting to each other; none the less, a full sentence and yet here she was, trapped in his arms, sharing his warmth and company.
She was settled comfortably against his body, feeling almost peaceful when the footsteps returned, this time the steps were more louder, heavier as they descended and she knew it to be those women.
They had come back.
“Well, aren’t you two looking cozy.” The brown haired woman taunted them, lips curled into a slightly amused smirk as the keys rattled before jamming into the hole. The door eerily creaked open and Hinata’s whole body tensed, breaths coming out in choppy gasps as she quickly took the defensive.
Sasuke’s eyes finally opened, body relaxed and calm as Hinata wondered how he could hide his emotions so well because she felt like a train wreck on the inside. The aura’s stopped right in front of her when Hinata wheezed in fear, fingers curling into his arm in complete terror.
“Too bad we have to take lover boy here for a minute,” the scary woman said with a short breathy laugh at her own joke. Her sharp eyes seemed to prickle Hinata’s skin when Hinata clung even tighter to Sasuke in uncertainty.
Before long, sharp nails dug into the sleeve of Hinata’s shirt and pricked her delicate skin, dragging her petite form off of the Uchiha and tossed her limply onto the ground. The back of Hinata’s head slammed painfully down with a deafening thud. This woman’s grip was so strong and Hinata’s weak struggles meant nothing as she laid on the ground trying to catch her breath. They had took her by surprise with the sudden movement and the white flashes wouldn’t stop in her mind’s eye.
She could hear the shackles creak and grind together as they were opened before the chains dropped onto the ground with a loud clink. Hinata blindly reached out, barely grazing his leg with a soft whimper as they dragged him out of the cell rather quickly, leaving her to wheeze for breath on the dirty ground.
Where did they take him? What are they going to do to him? Will they return him back here?
Her heart hurt for him as the thoughts continue to filter through her mind in magnanimous amounts.
She had to force herself to swallow down her fear for him. Nothing will happen to him, she just had to believe that. She can’t mourn for him because Uchiha Sasuke won’t die. He’s stronger than that.
He’s the Uchiha Sasuke.
Although she knew that he was strong, it didn’t stop her from worrying for him any when the anxiety and nervousness threatened to consume her.
For the next three hours Hinata prayed for him. Prayed for him to return to her in one piece; although, she knew he was too strong to succumb to them.
The first time he had been brought in here with her, she had remembered that he was bleeding a lot and knew that they had tortured him, but to what extent she didn’t know. Without her eyes and her chakra, she was almost powerless.
If only her chakra would regenerate faster, she would be able to help heal some of his wounds if that was the case. But it was odd that her chakra hadn’t regenerated to full capacity yet, usually it would quickly build up within a couple of hours. Hinata prodded her powers further until she could feel the slight warmth of her chakra, too small to be able to form any jutsus.
Perhaps, she had been damaged more than she thought. Prodding further within herself, she finally was able to note that something was drawing chakra from her body.
Something at the top of the room was draining her chakra, yet she wasn’t strong enough to stop it. Whatever it was, was too far away for her to attempt to dislodge or destroy. There was no way she could destroy it herself.
Hinata slowly crawled to the corner, close to where Sasuke had been chained up, fingers pushing the chains away before huddling against it for warmth.
The wait had been long but she couldn’t help the breath of relief that she released when she felt his dark aura bump against hers.
She had missed him, his warmth and his aura, and had to wonder how she could miss him when in fact, she hadn’t even known him for that long.
Sasuke ground his teeth together, body tense as his legs dragged painfully beneath him. Various fresh cuts and lacerations littered his flesh in unbelievable amounts. One particularly long wound dragged from the top of his chest and down to his abdomen and hip, while nail shaped crescents bled from his shoulders and back.
He was wheezing, gagging, and gasping when they dragged his flaccid form into the cell and the scent of blood, thick and tangent bit into her lungs.
Sasuke never showed weakness. She never heard him complain about his discomfort and pain but to hear him gasping like this brought even more unrest and turmoil to fill her.
They had hurt him.
Very very badly.
He was once again chained to the wall when his legs gave out on him. Sasuke fell back onto his haunches before his bottom met the floor, pain coursing through his blood like fire as the severe wounds continued to bleed and torture him.
Hinata remained trembling in the corner, waiting for the women to leave but she could hear one of them spit, then the sound of something being kicked violently several times and then the sound of a masculine grunt of pain.
Hot tears leaked from the corner of her eyes, dripping down her cheeks and burning her cracked lips from the salt of her own tears.
Why was she so useless?
Just when she thought they wouldn’t leave, the women had retreated back up the stair steps before Hinata blindly made her way to him. Tears were streaking down her face in torrents with a strictly pained expression on her face. He was the one in pain and she made it look like she was the one tortured.
He grimaced when her ice cold hands made contact with his heated flesh, right onto one of the many cuts that littered his body. His sticky blood coated her hands and she trembled slightly, a worried frown marring her pretty face.
“U-Uchiha-san,” she whispered out, a pathetic sob bubbling from her throat as her hands trembled.
“Stop crying, Hyuga.” He wheezed, trying to catch his breath as he caught her trembling hands in his own shaking ones.
“I-I... P-Please let me take care of you,” she whispered, the anxiousness and worry evident in her voice as she tried to wrap her fingers around his own. His hand was obviously much more bigger than her own delicate ones and tainted with his own blood.
“I don’t need it,” he said pridefully.
Hinata could hear the strain in his voice despite how he tried to mask his pain with pride. He couldn’t filter the agony out of his voice this time. The hiss of pain broke through the cracks of his teeth when she had touched his wound and could not be concealed.
She couldn’t let him hurt like this, not if she knew that she could help somehow.
“P-Please Uchiha-san. For me. I can’t stand to see you h-hurting so badly.” She whispered lowly, tears wetting the front of her shirt before he sighed in exasperation and grunted once in approval; although, he was sure there wasn’t much she could do for him in this state. He didn’t know why he was even willing to appease her.
A watery smile met his gaze before she quickly assessed the damage on his chest as he laid back willingly to let her worry over him. Soft fingers drifted from his collarbone down to his chest before snagging against the long laceration on his abdomen. He barely managed to swallow the grunt of pain when she immediately jerked her hands back, pretty mouth wide in horror.
Only vile and cruel people could do this to someone!
Hinata scuttled towards their drinking water before she tore off a size-able chunk of her shirt in order to create a make shift towel or rag to clean his wounds. Since her shirt was rather long and baggy it didn’t make much of a difference and she didn’t worry too much about it.
Hinata quickly resumed her position in front of him once she had collected their water bowl. Her touch didn’t linger and she promptly worked on cleaning his wounds the best she can compared to the many medics before that had molested him while in the guise of being a professional nurse.
Hinata’s fingers were soft, delicate and seemed to lull him into relaxation like no other had managed to before.
She worked with deft precision across all of his wounds and when her hands blindly moved past his waist and down towards his legs, he caught her wrist before she touched his aroused flesh.
Bewildered lavender eyes flashed up to him as an endearing blush colored her cheeks. She didn’t apologize in order to please him and instead resumed her task, fingers finding several wounds on his biceps and forearms, careful not to stray to private territory.
“I-I...Thank you, Uchiha-san,” she whispered as he rolled his eyes in disbelief at the Hyuga girl.
Why was she thanking him?
He thought he understood the workings of her mind but each time she seemed to prove him wrong and became a rather interesting puzzle to figure out. He didn’t understand where her kindness came from, how she could care for him the way she does. They didn’t even know each other that well yet the genuine care and concern that he could see in her eyes and on her face could not be faked and it made him forget that they had only known each other no more than 3-4 days now.
What goes on inside of her mind? He was curious of the answer.
Once done, she had sat next to him instead of in his lap in deference to his wounds only to have him carefully draw her back into his arms. Her chilled flesh immediately leeched off his body warmth and she couldn’t help but curl back into his body, mindful of his wounds but not much could be done because there was just too many.
Her breath fluttered across his chest before she laid her cheeks onto his chest, nose brushing his collarbone when her eyebrows curved in confusion. She could smell the scent of strong and heavy feminine perfume on his flesh, musky and sweet as if they had been extremely close to him when they tortured him.
Hinata yawned, eyelids feeling heavy as his warmth seemed to lull her to sleep.
“Rest, Hyuga,” he ordered, eyes closing when she sighed out tiredly but contentedly against his chest.
This time, Hinata dreamt of escaping with her silent companion and beautiful obsidian eyes.