Title: Rhythm & Bruise: Gaara's Story Chapter 1
Series: Monoshizukanohi//Naruto AU
Pairing: Many, many pairings. Almost everyone in the Naru-verse is here in some capacity or another.
Word Count: Ongoing
Warnings/Notes: Dark fiction. Bloodplay, language, angst, violence, abuse, gangs in this section. D/s, bondage, impact play, other, for later chapters.
Spoilers: None whatsoever.
Summary: The streets of Monoshizukanohi are not kind to youth, and Gaara is no exception. After running away from an abusive home, Gaara struggles to find meaning in life through violence, drugs, and anything he can manage to survive. Join him as Gaara and his ever-present friend Jody struggle from the streets to the top of the social strata. It's rags to riches, despair to hope, and everything in between.
The raccoon paused in the middle of the two-lane blacktop. The pavement was warm in the summer air, and the scent of death floated on the light breeze. A skunk – young, dead for a while – lay in the tall grass of the ditch on the other side of the road, the carcass bloated. The raccoon wanted no part of that – he wanted fresh meal worms or, if he was lucky, a back porch with a bowl of the dry, crunchy stuff the two-legs put out to feed their tame beasts.
Though some of those tamed beasts weren’t so tame. There was a cat that owned a piece of the raccoon’s tail. The raccoon remembered the pain – inasmuch as a raccoon remembered anything.
The ground vibrated and the raccoon froze for a half-breath. Small, five-toed feet clawed for purchase on the pebbled pavement as the rumble got closer, and he made it to safety just as a blinding light and massive hunk of metal roared by the raccoon and the quite-dead skunk.
Eyes watched in the darkness and then the raccoon skittered away in search of quieter night climes.~*~
All four wheels of the 1956 Cadillac left the pavement as Gaara hit 110 over a bump and hit who-the-fuck-knows on the speedometer when the car got air for a tenth of a second before landing with a sickening, banshee screech.
“Oh fuck me – did we just fly?” Jody McIntire asked from the floorboards of the backseat.
“No,” Gaara replied, hands white-knuckled on the steering wheel and blue-green eyes shot through with red streaks. He hadn’t slept in four days.
Cocaine was a bitch.
A sweet bitch with a pretty voice.
…but not as pretty as her sister heroin’s. Now THAT bitch could sing a siren song that would leave no sailor with breath to tell tales.
And both sisters screamed harmony in Gaara’s bloodstream as he took a curve on the dark road at 90 just to feel the tires grip and the suspension shudder.
“Fuck me,” Jody said again. “You sure? ‘cause it felt like flyin’.”
Next to Gaara in the front seat, Sicko laughed and braced his unlaced boots on the dash. Gaara didn’t like that, but he didn’t say anything. Sicko was unpredictable – especially when he chased the tiger. He was older than Gaara – who, at fourteen and four-feet-nine-inches could barely see over the massive steering wheel. He managed it with Jody’s jacket under his ass and a lot of practice.
“The fuck’s funny?” Jody drawled from the backseat. Gaara wasn’t sure why he was in the floor. Maybe he liked the feel of Paint’s sneakers on his stomach. Weirder things and all that.
“Death, man – he’s hilarious,” Sicko rasped. Someone a couple years back put a knife in Sicko’s throat, and that made talking a little challenging for him now. The two-pack-a-day habit didn’t help…or maybe it did; Sicko and Death were old friends, and Sicko never made bones about wanting to get up close and personal with his old pal.
“I don’t really wanna die tonight, if that’s cool,” Jody said, one hand reaching up to grip the back of the front bench seat. Gaara’s unblinking gaze flickered to the rearview to watch Paint curl up in the seat to let Jody up. The big, sandy-haired man took up a lot of room. At sixteen, Jody stood more than a foot taller than Gaara and weighed in at least twice as heavy.
“No,” Gaara said again. His fingers flexed on the wheel and his shoulders rocked with the high, his teeth clenched against the racing pulse and semi-sickening sensation. Nothing was better than blowin’ Brother – and the speedball was good enough to make Gaara’s gums ache.
Paint curled up into a ball in the backseat, and Jody pulled the tiny man into his arms protectively. Paint didn’t talk. No one was sure if it was a lifestyle choice or actual handicap. Jody made Paint wear a whistle around his neck so he could scream through plastic if he needed help – a habit Jody enforced ever since Gaara’d found Paint getting roughed up at both ends by two Devil Dogs last year. The Dogs regretted messing with the youngest member of Gaara’s pack. Jody left them a couple digits short of five-finger discounts.
Gaara watched Jody tuck the small, Asian boy under his arm and Paint stared into space. They called him “Paint” because he, well, painted. Or drew pictures – whatever he could do with whatever he could use. No one said Gaara and Jody were particularly creative in the nicknaming department. Sicko was…well, sick. In the head and body, usually, and Paint…well…
“’s cool, boss,” Jody said to Gaara, and he smiled at Gaara in the mirror, big white teeth flashing. Even high Jody had Gaara’s back – and Gaara was nobody’s fool. He kept the big man right where he needed him. Jody’s sheer size had kept the two out of more brawls than in them.
“But…listen, shit. Death’s fuckin’ talking again…he says we need to go faster. Push it, boss…go on…” Sicko crawled over to Gaara on the seat and put his hand between Gaara’s legs without preamble. “Drive ‘er fast, boss…and I’ll suck ya good…” His dark teeth flashed and Gaara observed that they were the same color as his hair…and that was strange. And faintly disgusting, Gaara thought dimly.
But cocaine sang that sensation was nice and heroin didn’t argue.
Gaara didn’t reply with words, but he shifted his hips forward and slammed his foot on the pedal. From the backseat, Paint whimpered.
“Aw, little dude, it’s okay,” Jody rumbled, hugging Paint. “Gaara and cars…they’re like…well, things that really go together. Cake and ice cream!” Jody grinned at Paint and Sicko got Gaara’s zipper undone. Gaara really didn’t care about the blowjob…he wanted the road, and he wanted the high to last.
“Fuckin’ love ice cream,” Sicko rasped before he sucked Gaara’s half-hard dick into his mouth. He used teeth, and Gaara’s lips parted in a silent groan even as his gaze stayed crazed but steady on the road. It was straight, thank the gods, and not heavily traveled. To the right were trees full of hanging moss occasionally caught by the Caddy’s headlights. Gaara thought the moss looked like clumps of corpse hair: like there were hundreds of dead women caught in the trees.
Beyond the trees on the right were a beach and the ocean. To the left were trees and beyond them a happy commercial district full of Starbucks and kids who managed to stay kids until they were 18. The woods ran on both sides of the dark highway and made the road look like a long corridor to nothing.
Gaara rather liked that idea. The road to nothing and nowhere…he wondered if he could get to the end. And if he did, he wondered if the pain would finally stop and the nasty voice of his father would die a bloody, painful death that started with the ripping of testicles and ended with blood pouring from the eyeballs.
Sicko moaned and sucked at Gaara as the redhead’s foot put the pedal on the floor. Paint lurched forward and wrapped his skinny arms around Gaara’s shoulders.
“Gaara, you’re scarin’ Paint,” Jody said, words only a little slurred.
“Yeah,” Gaara said. He was. And he didn’t care. About anything at the moment, though Sicko’s tongue was doing a pretty decent job of getting him hard and making him wet. That could just be Sicko’s drool though…Gaara wasn’t in total communication with all his body parts – cock included.
“We need to get the Caddy to Vince in one piece or we ain’t never gonna get enough cash to get the hell out of town,” Jody pointed out helpfully.
Gaara said nothing, but his eyes flashed up to meet Jody’s in the mirror and his foot eased up on the accelerator.
“Just sayin’, boss. You know I’m with you.” Jody’s hazel gaze was intent and honest.
Paint’s arms hugged around Gaara’s neck and oxygen came a little harder to come by. He said nothing, and Sicko worked his magic, moaning with wet, sloppy noises. Sicko reached a hand down to stroke himself through his black jeans and Gaara found his attention divided between the road, the high, and the sight of Sicko wanting to get off with Gaara in his mouth.
Gaara pried one hand off the steering wheel and jerked at Paint’s arm. The boy – because hell only knew how old Paint was; definitely south of fifteen, maybe south of ten – made a little noise and nuzzled Gaara’s neck. He did it when he wanted something – food, warmth, more paint, not to die in a blazing wreck of metal.
The problem was, however, that Gaara did – at that moment – want to die in a blazing wreck of metal. It would suck that they would all go with him, but he couldn’t bring himself to really feel regret over that. Nobody would miss them…nobody would care. They’d get shallow graves in the poor man’s part of some cemetery marked with stones that said, “John Doe 1” and “John Doe 2.”
“Here lies Gaara…everyone wanted him to die.”
“What was that, boss?” Jody slurred. He’d sunk back against the seat, eyes a little glassy.
Gaara didn’t repeat himself, but he did dimly feel an orgasm approaching. Sicko worked him and Paint slid his hands around Gaara’s neck. It was an old pattern, and Gaara didn’t try to stop him. The gesture still confused Gaara – it’s not like he ever explained the finer points of erotic asphyxiation to the kid. But for whatever reason, when Paint was around and Gaara was getting some, the ancient child was there with cold hands to press on a windpipe.
Breathing labored and hands numb, Gaara kept the car between the lines – the two on the edges of the road. It was four in the morning and nobody but the devil walked these woods at this time of night.
And the devil would have his hands full if he met the car full of street kids high on badly cut drugs in a boosted Caddy on their way to a chop shop run by a sometime-pimp who was as likely to hit them as he was to pay them.
Gaara’s head tilted back and he bucked into Sicko’s mouth. Paint’s hands slithered and pressed with the exact right amount of pressure, and Gaara looked hard at the trees on the right. There was a break coming in half a mile – hard and fast. Gaara’s amped vision could see it well enough, and without thinking too much – because that was both impossible and undesirable – Gaara jerked the wheel of the Caddy toward that gap with reflexes that were the gift to the young and stupid.
Jody yelped when the car hit ditch and kept going. Paint clutched reflexively on Gaara’s throat, and Sicko bit down a little hard on Gaara’s dick just before his mouth came loose. Gaara gasped and came as the car plowed through saplings, undergrowth, and tore away a chunk of a cypress. The boys jerked in the car, and Gaara saw it all in slow motion: his seed spraying into air and onto clothing, Sicko bouncing and hitting the windshield, Jody bracing against the roof of the car and grabbing onto Paint’s body with the other hand. Gaara felt a dull thud when his head hit liner and then the car cleared the trees and the tires squalled on rock and sand.
When Gaara opened his eyes, the world was moving at normal speed. He pushed away from the steering wheel with a wince and looked around the car, dazed and nauseated. Sicko was leaning against the passenger door, laughing the insane laugh of the terminally crazed. Jody and Paint weren’t in the car – the back door was open.
Gaara turned his head and it felt like his neck was made of wooden spikes that broke when he moved. The pain shot through him like a sobering medicine, and Gaara tasted blood when his lips parted to gasp.
“Fuck, boss,” Sicko said. “You’re…”
“Paint threw up. Jody got him outside to let him finish. Holding his hair, I think…fucking sweet man.” He coughed; a wet, harsh, slick sound.
Gaara faced forward. He couldn’t count the places that hurt, so he didn’t try. He looked at his hands and saw blood. Staring and fascinated, Gaara raised a bloody knuckle to his lips and licked at it.
“Shit,” Sicko said, sliding forward on the seat. His nose didn’t look too good, and one cheekbone had a gash. Gaara tried to think of how that happened – why the slit skin, where was the broken glass? Were they pressure cuts?
Then his brain went on the fritz, and he got lost in the taste of his own blood.
“Lemme,” Sicko said softly. “Sacred, man…let me drink you.”
Gaara didn’t move as Sicko leaned over and reverently licked Gaara’s cheek. He stayed still as Sicko groaned and worked to eat at Gaara’s blood like a vampire fledgling with minimal control. The leather of the seat creaked under his weight, and Gaara looked ahead of them and saw the ocean.
“You taste like wine, boss,” Sicko whispered.
Gaara shoved him away and got out of the car. He didn’t want Sicko’s tongue any more than he wanted other body parts. He didn’t care about sex or orgasms or relationships or the lack thereof. These boys worshipped Gaara for whatever reason – Jody the saner voice of the bunch.
But Gaara didn’t want worship…he wanted what he lost a long time ago. The thing he searched for and couldn’t find, no matter how many bags of powder he went through or how many bottoms of bottles he saw. It was the thing he didn’t find in his father’s mansion or in his uncle’s illicit embrace. And it was the want of such a thing that drove Gaara nearly insane with searching and with being tied to a body on this rock in space.
“Meaning…” Gaara whispered, voice carrying on the ocean breeze.
“Boss?” Jody asked from the darkness behind him. “You good?”
Gaara lifted one hand and gave Jody a peace sign without looking back. It was an old symbol – one that could mean they needed to go, trouble ahead, all’s square, need better shit, or leave me alone.
Right now it meant Gaara was with him – and that’s all Jody cared about.
“Paint’s cool,” Jody said. “But Sicko just coughed up blood in the front seat.”
“Some of it’s mine,” Gaara said before he left the car and started walking toward the water. On the way he tripped and fell at least twice, but he didn’t mind that so much. The sand burned in the wounds on his hands and some of it got in his eyes. It felt good. Like getting off or sucking on strawberry candy – Gaara’s favorite.
When his sneakers hit water, Gaara stopped and looked down, almost startled at this new reality of shell and salt water. Tears streamed down his cheeks because of the sand in his eyes, and he thought about his mother. Of hospitals and gowns and tests and calm voices…of vomit and urine and the nasty chest rattle of the dying.Please…please don’t hurt me…
Gaara looked down at his hand and thought about the first time he held a gun. He wished he had one now. He could put a bullet in his leg and watch the blood drain away onto the sand: life sucked up by unforgiving grit.Do it like this…stupid fuck of a kid. You want in or not?
Then do what I fuckin’ tell you, bitch!
Please…please, god, no…
“There is no God,” Gaara said to the swirling vision of a crying boy and to the unrelenting ocean. He remembered initiations and screaming and his first experience with real pain: watching it, making it happen, feeling it himself. Gaara told lies to stay alive and he told more lies so that he could move through life like a ghost. The Sons of Saints was just the first stage when he was fresh on the streets. They ruled the part of town where Gaara landed after the bus fare ran out. I’m sixteen.
You a cunt is what you is…you what, twelve?
He’d been ten. And small. And breakable. And to be a Saint, you earned it with kills of the unworthy. Purging the masses. Honor and glory be unto God.
And as it turned out…Gaara was very, very good with weapons. And very, very bad with God.
Sicko may talk to death; may be on good terms. But Gaara’d looked the asshole in the face several times, now.
And he was one ugly motherfucker.
“Boss?” Jody said quietly. “Can I see?”
Gaara nodded and Jody came around Gaara, feet splashing in the water. Jody touched Gaara’s face, tilted his head left and right. These three were the only ones allowed to touch Gaara, and Jody was the only one Gaara allowed to look him over after a fight or…car wreck.
Jody took off his shirt – the outer one, anyway. He wore a tank under his t-shirt. Holding Gaara by the arm like he was a little boy, Jody wiped Gaara’s face and the back of his hands. It felt…calming. Not good, exactly, but not wrong.
“Car’s okay,” Jody said, tucking his bloody shirt under his arm. “Boys are all right. Dunno about Sicko…think he might…be hurt.”
The thought that Gaara was responsible for Sicko’s hurt skittered through his mind, struggled to find purchase, and then was gone. He didn’t care if he hurt him. Or killed him. Gaara just shook his head and shrugged.
“I know, boss, but we can’t just let ‘im die, either.”
Gaara looked at Jody, head tilted to one side.
“Well, what,” Jody mumbled. “He’s one of us for what that’s worth…we could take him to a shelter?”
Gaara sighed and looked out at the water.
“I’ll do it, boss. After we get the car dumped. There’s a place…I can do it.”
Gaara looked at Jody and nodded. “Fine,” he said at last.
The drugs made Gaara’s ears ring…but they were fading. Adrenaline stole the sirens’ conviction…thieving bitch.
Gaara turned to walk back to the car and stumbled. Jody steadied him without comment, and they got back to the Caddy. It was a tough beast…dinged and scratched with one missing headlight, but the engine purred and Gaara thought the car looked at him as he approached.
“Now what?” the Caddy asked. “Gonna cut me up and make me scream?”
Gaara and the Caddy looked at one another in something like mutual understanding. And just like that, Gaara made up his mind.
“Jody,” Gaara said, stopping.
“How much do we have?”
“A few,” Jody said. “Sold that ounce and made a bit, but we could really use more. Why?”
“Because we’re not going to see Vince.”
Jody shifted his weight. “He won’t like that.”
“Drop him on the way out. Lighten the load. Heavy up the cash.”
“Where we going?”
Gaara thought about it. “Monoshizukanohi.”
“The city? But…”
Gaara looked at Jody, one pale eyebrow lifted.
Jody swallowed and nodded. “Anything you say, boss. I’ve got yer back.”
“Then let’s get the fuck off this beach. I hate the ocean.”