Title: Rhythm & Bruise: Gaara's Story
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, angst, violence, abuse, gangs, D/s, bondage, impact play, other.
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.
Monoshizukanohi at night:
The city noise is a crazed cacophony of sirens, screams, and sibylline whispers. For there is always prophecy on the streets; it can be found in the tired smirk that comes with, “Hey baby, lookin’ for a nice time?” It can be heard in the quiet and desperate plea of the fallen: “Man…I need
it. Fuck...” It can be seen in the shuffle of a staggering man, made great by his shoes and laid low by his booze. It’s in the eyes of the woman who screeches into the hand over her mouth for help and God. It’s in the dulcet tones of the jazz club, open late so everyone can find the blues.
Prophecy: Pleasure and pain. Uptown and downtown. Alleyways and ballrooms.
It’s all the same in the card game of Fate. She doesn’t see flesh and blood: she sees pawns and toys.
And we’re all her bitch. There is no escape.
Cities in darkness are Fate’s favorite playground. The tired, the poor, the hungry, the rich and broken…all here, all eager for a deal. What’s your price? Bid high, buy low? Sell out, go for broke?
There is no rest for the sinner, and Monoshizukanohi is a sinner’s paradise. Everyone knows that no city sleeps – not truly. The taxis crawl, the buses blow air and brake, and the trains rumble under the ground like planned earthquakes.
High above the razz and grumble, a woman stands at a picturesque window. It must have been a selling point for the real estate agent who brokered this deal –
(Agents of locational Fate)
- as were the fireplace and the stone tile in the bathrooms. Behind the woman at the window furniture in white modern and chrome stands in carefully arranged patterns of flow and feng shui. A fern, a table, a counter, a decorative bowl…all owned and purchased with a careful eye and placed with a deft hand.
That same hand reaches out and leaves fingerprints on the glass. She sucks a drag on her cigarette and remembers for the hundredth time that those things are going to kill her. With a sigh, she sees herself reflected in the glass and eyes her dark hair and remembers a time when it was another color: bright pink. The rebellious phase: the fuck-the-man phase…
The phases that often bring Sakura patients: young kids with track marks and deep wells for eyes. The city isn’t kind to youth…Sakura wonders as she gazes out and down onto the crawling lights below if youth is now a myth.
Maybe people are just born ancient and embittered.
Sakura stubs out the cigarette and drops it into an empty bottle of Grey Goose. She wants a bath and bed and distraction. With a sweep of silk robe and a sway of curved hip, she leaves the window and passes down a hallway toward a bathroom. It’s late, but she doesn’t mind – this is a Thursday tradition.
Depression, vodka, bath, and the radio.
Not necessarily in that order.
Sakura’s pink nail touches the volume on the tiny stereo on the bathroom counter, and a familiar voice fills the silence and occupies a void. It’s a temporary comfort to this beautiful doctor – and with a smile she walks across the cold, tile, floor.“Dark nights and dim days, Monoshizukanohi,
” the voice says. And across town in a dim room lit by a lamp covered in a red cloth and a panel full of blinking instruments, a man grins around an unlit cigarette into a microphone. He brings a heavy, metal lighter up to the mic. There’s a metallic noise as he flips it open, a click as he strikes the flint, a flare as he ignites the cig, and a slow exhale as he blows out death.“It’s Thursday, it’s two minutes ‘til midnight, and this is WKDS: all hits, all the time. And you know what that means…”
Sakura sits and lets the bath fill. She does know. And she whispers the next words along with the deep, ethereal voice coming through with crystal clarity:“Means it’s time for me, DJ Stryke, to start up Open Line. Bite me, Monoshizukanohi…I wanna feel your teeth tonight.”
Smiling, Sakura trails fingers under the water and the blat of a fire engine goes unnoticed on the streets far below the 47th floor. The engine blares horn and siren and the red lights paint bloody patterns on the buildings and the slightly damp streets as it crawls through an intersection. Cars try to get out of the way, and a taxi nearly hits a small boy, standing just off the sidewalk waiting to cross.
“Bitch!” the kid – twelve and oh-so punk – screams, one ineffectual fist slamming on the hood of the taxi. “I’m walkin’ here!”
“Fuck off!” the driver calls through the open window in a thick accent of indeterminate origin. Damned fool kids. Damned fire truck. Damned city and pedestrians and college drunks…“Sink ‘em in deep, kids,”
the voice says on the radio in the taxi as the fire truck weaves through traffic. “It’s dark and dank out there. Not cold enough to snow, but cold enough to leave ya numb. City smells like wet dog and I can hear the queens in their heels on the slick pavement, now. There’s this whore over on 18th…she’s got sequins on her lips and a dick below her hips. You there, gorgeous? You wanna blow me?”
The taxi driver smirks and shakes his head. Stryke’s show was the most popular in town, and nobody knew how he cut through the censor bullshit.
And nobody cared.
The fire truck finally clears the intersection, the punk kid crosses, the taxi grabs a fare, and somewhere further away in a three-storey town house a man groans around and through an open-mouth gag. Tongue dry and jaws aching, his teeth clench into the gel padding circling the hard, short shaft prying his lips apart. His arms are bound with black cord laced through opera gloves behind his back. His eyes are covered with a jet-black satin blindfold. He is bent over a black-and-chrome pedestal, torso bound down by a strap and legs spread wide by a bar and heavy ankle cuffs. Sweat beads and slips across his smooth forehead and into his messy gray hair.
“That’s it, bitch,” Iruka says from behind Kakashi, voice far colder and entirely different than the one he reserved for his students. “Take it and moan for more.”
Iruka carefully pushes another golf ball-sized bead into Kakashi’s ass. The beads are attached by a heavy, plastic cord and there are five in total. “Ooh-oh, what’s this?”
says the voice on the radio attached to a wall behind the engrossed pair. “The board’s lightin’ up, kids. I think I’ve got at least a nibble…let’s see if the first one leaves a mark.”
Iruka smiles and pushes the fourth bead inside the prone man before him. Kakashi shivers, knowing what’s coming and is so hard in his cockrings he can barely breathe.“Stryke here. Speak.”
“Hey man…it’s Bent.”
“Bent, my man!”
Stryke says, voice raising in recognition. “You got ‘im with ya?”
“Fuck yeah, man…he can’t talk though. He hears your voice and…”
“Feels the need to occupy his mouth?”
There’s laughter and banter coming through the speakers as Iruka shoves in the last bead. He pets Kakashi’s lower back with one gloved hand, and his chuckle matches the men on the radio as he fingers the control at the end of the string. He flips it on, and the miniature bullets inside the balls up Kakashi’s ass all begin vibrating in sync.
“Oh fuck yeah,” Iruka says. “I love it when you make that
Kakashi all-but screams and whines as Iruka walks around to Kakashi’s front. He grabs Kakashi’s hair and yanks his head back. The open-gag is just the right size for a good face fuck.
“Stuffed and screaming…shit, Kaka, baby, I’m going to shoot down your throat and then watch you dance and come until you pass out.”
And the words are almost tender as Iruka unzips and slides his cock into Kakashi’s eager, groaning mouth.“Tell him to be a good little bitch and suck ya dry,”
Stryke says on the radio. In the dark room, he finishes one cigarette and lights up another one – the same metallic and breathy noises from earlier filling the radio silence for two or three seconds.“Looks like Bent’s occupied…God I love a good mouth slut…give me a moaning pretty boy around my cock any day of the week.”
He hums: a satin noise over the airwaves that makes at least a hundred women and even more men shudder in collective want.“Or better yet…a good, sweet little sub who’s bitten me black and blue and punched my balls numb before finally admitting defeat and takin’ it like the bitch he is.”
All the way across town – outside of the city limits and beyond the reach of planned suburbia - Tenzou shakes his head. He wears an old flannel shirt and faded jeans, and the light in his workshop makes him look older than he really is. It’s a large space full of half-finished pieces of furniture, slabs of beautiful wood, tables and tools. The air smells of forest and sawdust and sweat. The stereo system is state-of-the-art and carefully concealed beneath a plastic dome on the wall. The speakers are surround-sound, as Tenzou likes music when he works late into the night. He carefully marks measurements on a piece of roped trim and thinks that Stryke is a cocky, entertaining asshole.“But you know all this, people of the night. We’ve talked about it before. You know all about my perversions, my preferences, the games I like to play. And this show ain’t about me, is it? It’s about you, pretty boys and girls.”
“Somehow, I seriously doubt you feel that way,” Tenzou comments as he takes the trim over to a miter saw. For a moment, a high-pitched buzz drowns out the radio as Tenzou cuts the edging. “…darkest secret fetish. Come on…Stryke’s horny and lonely tonight, boys and girls. Got shit on my mind, and I need your help to shut it down.”
Tenzou snorts. He begins marking another bit of edging and thinks about the times when playing and subs and fetishes were more his stock in trade than wood. He builds the equipment now and never uses his own, the beautiful cherry pieces collecting dust. Tenzou can’t imagine a world where he’d want to play again…not after…
Switching the radio off and the disc changer on, Un Bel Di Vedremmo
fills the shop and Tenzou’s ears, and right now he much prefers Madam Butterfly
to Stryke’s insatiable public lust. He ups the volume and sound leaks out from around the doors and windows of the shop and up into the night air: notes of sorrow and want swirling in the misty rain.
And unknown to Tenzou, high up on a ridge nearby and deep inside a house that looks like it hails from bad gothic opera, the same aria plays from paint-splattered speakers. The room looks like one with which Tenzou would be very familiar. However – this room acts more like an alter to oil and turpentine rather than a shrine to flesh and pain.
A pale, pale hand guides a wide brush over a canvas that stands twelve feet tall. There are other such canvases around the room, most of them finished and some of them covered by white sheets or plastic. There are no windows in this dungeon – and that is truly what it is: a wide, long, stone room filled with the dim lights of lamps and flameless candles. Here creativity is shackled and harnessed, its keeper often hidden away in the darkness by choice and affectation.
He does not care that there is a world outside. He does not mind that people wouldn’t understand how he works or why. No mind is paid to the leftover food on plates on the cold floor, nor to the disarray of paints and brushes and littered chaos of artistic style. The music is even lost on deaf ears, for the only thing this man knows and sees are the people that want to crawl from his mind, snake down his arm, and leak out in brilliant color from brush tips.
A door opens, the hinges giving an ominous creak, but Sai doesn’t pause or take note in the slightest. On silent feet, the old butler and caretaker comes into the room, removes the empty plates and sets down a bottle of water. He gives momentary pause at the music in the room – he chose the CD and set it up earlier today. Sai was in one of his darker moods – evident only by a slight twitch in brow and tightness of lip – and sometimes new inspiration calms the most emotionless of beasts.
And it paid to keep the artist and money-maker happy, and Danzou feels touched that the music is on until he realizes that it’s just still playing from earlier today.
Oh well…at least the kid was listening.
Heading back up narrow stone stairs, Danzou breathes a sigh of relief when he reaches the well-lit kitchen. Taking food and nourishment to the young master was always tricky…one never knew if he would be thanked or have a pallet knife thrown at his head in silent commentary on the interruption.“Oooh, orgies, huh?”
Stryke says from the radio on the granite counter. “Not the most unusual I’ve ever heard, but fun…ever done one?”“Sure,”
says the caller. “There’s this guy I know. Has quite the rig at home – whole big room set up for sex and blood and pain. Doesn’t use it right, but sometimes he’ll have these parties. He’s this high-brow political fuckwad, but he knows his shit. I’ll give him that.”“Yeah?”
Stryke says, breathy against the mic. “Go on…”
In an upscale neighborhood in a house that shows both taste and ambition, Neji cocks an eyebrow and turns his slender neck to stare at the tiny speaker in the corner of the family room.
“Move already,” Shikamaru grumbles on the other side of the Go board.
“I recognize that voice,” Neji says softly.
“Which one?” Shika asks, thinking Neji looks like a god at peace with his hair loose like that over his bare chest.
“Both,” Neji replies. “Even if he does clean up the street accent for the show. But I think the caller is Zabuza.” His lip twists in distaste.
Shika frowns. “You had Zabuza here? I thought you hated that guy…”
Neji shakes his head. “He’s never been here. He’s recounting someone else’s story.”
For a second or two, both men listen as Zabuza talks of whips and chains and fuck fests the likes of which Neji would never allow under his roof. “Sounds like a hot time,”
Stryke says, laughing low and slick into the microphone.
“Does it now?” Neji asks rhetorically. “Do so wish someone had invited me to my own party.”
“Neji…move already. Ignore it.”
“Impatient little thing,” Neji says, but he’s smiling.
“You like me demanding.”
“I like you begging, pet,” Neji replies, finally making his move.
“And if you win? I’ll beg you prettier than I’ve ever done before.”
Neji laughs and Shika smiles, thinking that Go is far more entertaining when he plays his Master.“But come on kids…orgies? Spanking? Is this the best you people can do? I’m bored here…been there, done those asses, got the brand to prove it. I know there are more freaks in this city than there’re lawyers. Somebody’s gotta have a story for me…a real one. A good one…come on, Monoshizukanohi…bite me.”
Several plots of land over from where Neji and Shikamaru play games to determine the rules for other games, a beautiful blond man sits at a wide vanity wearing a blue robe that brings out his eyes. This house is more lavish than Neji’s and there are a surprising number of floral patterns in the formal rooms. The bathroom where the blond sits is done in shades of blue – the colors swirling like the etchings of a deep bruise.
“I could totally give you a story that’d make you cry…Stryke.” The blond’s full mouth twists, and he speaks the DJ’s name like a curse. With a dainty sigh, the man leans forward and touches a finger to his lips, applying a bit of gloss. Then he leans back and pulls his thick tresses over one shoulder, dividing the hair to make a braid.
“Talking to yourself again?”
The blond’s eyes flick up to the naked redhead entering the bathroom.
“To the radio.”
“Why do you listen if you hate the guy?” Sasori asks as he pulls the hair away from Deidara’s hands to braid it himself. Deidara lets him, eyes on his lover in the mirror.
“I like random acts of hatred.”
Sasori looks up into the mirror and meets Deidara’s gaze. He does not smile, does not even portray real interest or emotion with his face.
But his dick twitches and Deidara grins like a cat in heat at the sight.
“Want to hate me tonight, baby?” Deidara whispers.
Sasori grips Deidara’s hair hard enough to pull several strands loose. Deidara gasps and moves with Sasori’s hand as his head is yanked back to a painful angle and a hand closes over the front of his throat.
“Fucking whore,” Sasori whispers softly.
“Go to hell.” And Deidara shivers even as he spits the words. He loves this game. Sasori’s brutality and sculpture were the only two things in life worth a damn, really.
“Hell’s the new Eden compared to what I’m going to do to you.” Sasori shoves and pushes Deidara to the tile floor. The blond’s robe falls open, and he’s hard even as he scrambles in a sham to escape.
“Get away from me!” Deidara screams, angry and afraid with blue eyes blazing.“…because that’s the true bitch of it all. We’re human and we like fear. We feed on it, we crave it. We fuckin’ love it.”
Sasori chases Deidara across the floor and grabs his legs, jerking him back with a growl. Deidara’s skin makes a painful noise as it slides frictionless across the tile, and he will have pressure burns on his delectable ass the next day.
Deidara kicks at Sasori, loving the look of pure rage that flashes over the man’s face. With a high cry, he connects foot to chest and shoves – making Sasori yell profanity that would shame the fisher’s wife.“I love a little danger. A little edge play. Things just on this side of sanity. And judging by how many calls I’ve got on hold? You people are beggin’ for that kind of kinky ass shit, too.”
Deidara fights and screams and howls like a panther, but Sasori’s hands grab him and manhandle him out of the bathroom and toward the bed. Deidara feels his skin give and bruise, feels nails bite and draw blood. The fucking’s going to be rough and delicious, and Deidara’s screaming profanity and cries of rape even as he lets Sasori throw him down. The redhead smacks Deidara’s beautiful face with the exact right amount of force, and Deidara starts to cry and plead with skill that would put any Hollywood actor to shame. His cock leaks and he manages choking sobs when Sasori hits his ass, legs, and back so hard Deidara swears he sees stars. “Talk to me. Confess. Tell me you want it. Tell me you need it. I’m here for ya, girls and boys. Let me absolve you tonight of your need to get righteously fucked.”
When Sasori thrusts into the dry heat of his lover’s body, Deidara’s orgasm rips him into pieces: an explosion of agony and bliss.
yes – Master…thank you…thank you…” Deidara pants and shakes and loves it all so much he feels like he’ll die.
“Such a slut,” Sasori comments with a hint of affection.
“Shut up and fuck me, baby.” Deidara sits up and grabs at the hair at the nape of Sasori’s neck, pulling. “Make me your whore,” the blond says, looking at the redhead’s delicious mouth.
Sasori complies – a real grin splitting his face. Deidara is his match, and he wants to break and bleed and hold all at once.“Stryke. I think you go too far tonight.”
The caller is poised, composed and has a deep voice.“Whaddya mean, babe?”
“Your show is always edgy and without reasonable restraint. But tonight you seem particularly spirited.”
“You callin’ to complain or just make these brilliant little deductions on my air time?”
Stryke sounds amused rather than irritated.“My calling does indicate an interest in your show; a true complaint would do nothing but encourage you.”
“…so you like what I’m sayin’, then?”
“I was wondering if there was something that might have inspired this extra bit of commentary. That’s all.”
The caller’s voice stays smooth – he speaks with purpose. But there’s an undercurrent of anxiety in the modulated tone.“Well,”
Stryke says, as though considering. He leans back in his chair, the loose bolts creaking with his weight. He drags the microphone back with him and idly strokes his erection through his pants before finishing his sentence. “It could be I’ve got a hot little redhead on his knees under my control panel…”
The caller’s breath hitches, and thousands of listeners are grateful they’re awake tonight, work be damned in the morning. This is too hot, too good – too bloody intimate to miss.“…and I could be wishin’ you were here with him, love.”
With a gasp, Hinata covers her mouth with one hand. She’s sitting in her hybrid car, stopped at a light. Her home is a little cottage merely three streets away, and she considers driving around the block a few times just so she can listen a little longer. The work at the health club is finished – finally – for the night, so she can go in late tomorrow. Stryke is her one guilty pleasure…and tonight’s show seems to have no holds barred.“Like that, do you?”
Stryke says. The caller is still on the line – everyone can hear him breathing. “No,”
the caller replies. But the word sounds forced.“Bullshit. You wanna be here with your mouth around my dick and my fingers up your tight ass. Admit it baby.”
In the dark, the cig flares and smoke curls. Stryke’s lips pull back to reveal rather wickedly pointed canines. “Nobody knows who you are or what you do…it’s just you and me. Tell me what ya want.”
Kankuro blows out smoke into the wide cavern of darkness above him. He lays on his back on the university theatre’s stage, legs hanging over the edge. The ghost light is on – hanging from a hook on stage left – and the props are put away. Kankuro should really go home…
…but he swears he knows the voice of the refined caller currently acting as Stryke’s latest victim. It’s so familiar, Kankuro can almost taste it. So, he stays: one arm under his head, the other on his stomach, and a cigarette hanging from his lips. He waits and listens with unhealthy curiosity.“Come on…ya want me to tell you how I’d make you break? What I’d do to get ya on your knees for me? Or on all fours, your ass at my hands so I can tease you while you please me?”
There is a moment of collective focus among Stryke’s listeners: men in chairs with beer in hand, women in bed listening on headphones while their husbands snore, ten-year-olds with wide eyes, drunk on illicit conversation and rule breaking, taxi drivers, drug addicts, at least six ministers and a dozen priests…
All made even by want and human interest.“…no.”
The caller hangs up and Stryke’s laugher fills the airwaves, and everyone breathes a sigh. Some laugh, some curse, some think they would have played a far better game with Stryke than the idiot caller.“Such a little liar. And we all know it, don’t we? He didn’t even leave a mark, Monoshizukanohi. Now I’ll forget him by tomorrow…but he’ll dream about me for a week.”
“God he’s an arrogant bastard.” The speaker eyes his two cards and then studies the flop. Pocket queens were fabulous…but there was an ace on the board. Damnit.
“They all are,” says the exceptionally pretty man across the table. He folded before the flop and now sits with his hands in his lap, eyes lowered.
“Can we play cards without bringing all that shit up? For once?” The large man who speaks now checks his hand and thinks he really ought to try to find another poker game. Not only was this one a little out of his way to get to, but the pretty boy was a card shark if ever there was one. He firmly suspects the early fold was just part of a long, complicated strategy.
“Oh come on, Asuma. Kimimaro isn’t complaining, and he works in that shit you’re referring to with mocking distaste.”
“Kimimaro never complains, Genma” Asuma retorts and stubs out his cigar. The room in Genma and Raidou’s basement is hazy with old smoke after hours of poker and good-natured ribbing. “And really – can you not go one night a week without thinking like a damned sex-crazed animal?”
Genma grins and rolls the toothpick between his lips to the other side of his mouth. “You sure you want me to answer that?”
“Enough, Genma,” Raidou says from Genma’s left. “Asuma makes a fair point and gets enough of this talk in the kitchen over at Glow.”
“Glow can’t be too far removed from Break as far as inspiring conversation goes,” Asuma mutters.
“Not true,” Kimimaro says, raising a dollar. “Conversation is entirely different at Break.”
“Yes,” Haku agrees from next to Kimimaro, eyes still down.
“Fine,” Asuma submits with his eyes rolling. “I know nothing about your world. Let’s just play the last hand and call it a night.”
“He’s still an arrogant prick,” Genma grumbles. He finds it puzzling that Kakashi ever invited Asuma to Break. Maybe he did it to be polite? Or because he knew Asuma would find out everything working at Glow so it just made sense to give the invite? He and Raidou liked to go on event nights…mostly to watch the rich and famous play and make fools of themselves. Ibiki got them their key – something that still made Genma slightly nervous for some reason.
But all that was beside the point: Asuma’d never set foot in such a club – Kurenai would kill him. At least…Genma thought
And then all thoughts are gone as Genma’s heart soars when another pretty lady appears on the turn.
“Well, that’s no secret, is it?” Raidou says idly.
“Nah,” Genma agrees, trying to play it cool despite the three bitches who will win him this hand, he feels sure. “But still…he’s worse than Uzumaki.”
“Now that I find hard to believe,” Asuma says and folds. Genma was betting sly and hard – he had something.
“I would venture to say he’s actually an intriguing combination of Master Uzumaki and Master Hyuga,” Kimimaro interjects as he calls the hand.
It’s just creepy the way Kimimaro never really left Break…even when he was, actually, away from the club. Genma flips the toothpick in his mouth and tries not to think about it. Those two were Raidou’s friends for whatever reason. The guy brought home some of the strangest people.
“But he likes the whip more than either of them,” Haku says very quietly. For a moment, all eyes are on the pretty boy who never seems to age a day over eighteen. None of them really know what to say to that. But Kimimaro smiles a little at the man-child…which creeps Genma out. There is too much metal in Kimimaro’s lips to make a smile a cheerful affair on a good day, after all.
But then the words and the mental images are forgotten as Genma wins the final pot of the night with a whoop of triumph that makes Raidou laugh.“No, thank YOU, babe,”
Stryke says to a caller who spent ten minutes describing her ankle fetish. “Where would we be without ankle freaks? Cut off at the knees?”
The city groans and many people switch off the dial. Time for work. Time for bed. Time for late-night pleasures to draw to a close.
But those weary individuals succumbing to slumber will be unhappy tomorrow, for those who still listen hear the sounds of Stryke rustling in the studio. They hear the cap of a bottle undone and the final click of the lighter. And then they hear a long sigh.“You’ve been good to me tonight, citizens of this great metropolis. Bearers of freakdom. Hidden closet cases of need. So I owe ya a story. It’s not finished…hell, it’s not started. But it’s mine, and I need you to hear it tonight.”
“Oh this oughta be good.”
“Fuck off and go to sleep
“You’re so cute when you cuss, Sasuke.”
Sasuke pulls a pillow over his head to prevent him from saying more things that will distract Naruto from his best friend’s show. That could upset Naruto, and Sasuke didn’t want that right now. He hurt in places he’d truly forgotten he could hurt thanks to earlier games, and all he wanted was Naruto’s warm body against his own and sleep.
But that wouldn’t happen until the show was over. Naruto listened every week he was in town without fail or attention to distraction.
No matter how tempting said distraction might be. Sasuke learned that long ago and doesn’t try to fight the pattern now.
But it certainly didn’t stop Sasuke from occasionally voicing a vocal opinion or ten on how he felt about said pattern. “There’s a guy out there tonight who doesn’t even know my name,”
Stryke says and pauses to smoke.
Naruto takes pity on his lover and turns the volume down on his ancient alarm clock. He studies Sasuke’s bruised back as he listens, smiling in an odd combination of affection and perplexity.“He’s beautiful – of course he is. And brilliant – or so I hear. He’s off-limits. Untouchable. A pot of gold at the end of a red and teal rainbow.”
Now Naruto frowns and Sasuke – who can’t sleep until Naruto curls around him, anyway – rolls over to cuddle in Naruto’s lap. Absently Naruto strokes Sasuke’s back – touches feather-light so as not to cause pain. That was earlier – the pain. Now was time for gentleness and pleasure, and there’d been plenty of both for one night.
But what the hell is this all about? Naruto frowns, a little hurt at the words on the radio waves.
But leave it to Kiba to confess undying love on his goddamned show without even bothering to tell his best friend about it first.
“He probably didn’t plan this,” Sasuke whispers from Naruto’s lap. “It’s just on his mind now, and so he’s talking…”
Naruto squeezes Sasuke’s shoulder in a gesture that means ten things – all communicated without words. “I know a lot about this guy who doesn’t even know my name. I know where he works, where he lives, what he likes to do. I know what kind of car he drives and what kind of music he likes…”
Kiba stops speaking to chuckle. “I’m a good little stalker, boys and girls. But I swear most of that information was easy to get. He wears daily life on his sleeve – an open book. But the rest…”
When Kiba stops speaking, his listeners ache a little for the tone in his gruff-and-gritty voice. They recall lost loves and first kisses and crushes that never went anywhere.
Fate, fate…the fickle queen. She is death and destruction and love and sanctuary.
Oblivious to everything having to do with fate or the city save one or two key points, the object of Kiba’s desire takes turns at something roughly approaching the speed limit, and Beast’s new tires cling to the road without issue. The windows are down – the night mist nearly freezing on his hand as it rests on the door. Gaara doesn’t give a shit – he sucks cold air into his lungs and easily guides the refinished Caddy into the drive of Akasuna Auto. His mind is on the set he did tonight at Bliss, the paperwork he needs to do for the shop, and if there was any of that odd chicken casserole that Jody made the other night still in the fridge.
The headlights sweep over the auto shop and Gaara heads up his driveway. His is on the left, Jody’s on the right. Gaara’s house is a Mediterranean affair with pools and lanai. Jody’s house is a traditional cottage with a wide front porch – like his mama had when Jody was little and she was alive.
Gaara stretches in the seat and replays the set in his mind, looking for imperfections. He’s really come to enjoy his time spinning for the various clubs owned by some of the most powerful people in the city, and he takes the job seriously.
Not that Gaara really knows how to take things any other way, really.
And as he plays song and bridges in his mind, he vaguely remembers the man with the odd face paint who watched him spin the other night. The guy looked faintly familiar – but Gaara was too absorbed in his music to sort it out. And now, as he drives home, he pushes the man out of sight and mind. It is filed away as unimportant, and he has no idea that he has struck the curiosity of one famous on-air personality.
And he never listens to the radio.
Gaara pulls the Caddy into the garage attached to his house and prepares for the ritual of food, bathing, and bed.“But don’t worry, boys and girls,”
Kiba says, draining the last of his Jack and Coke and thinking dark thoughts about long nights and love tattoos. “I have ways of gettin’ attention…and I think I’ve had enough of the stalking shtick. Might have to up the ante and turn up the heat. And of course…I’ll keep you informed.”
Kiba’s teeth gleam in the dim light one last time, his lips practically kissing the microphone.“Until then, Monoshizukanohi…sleep well. Dream dark. Long nights and short days to you and yours. It’s time to go home and lick my wounds. Keep it here for more WKDS hits – but they won’t be as good as mine.”
Kiba turns off the mic, and across the city, people mimic the movement with their own radio dials.
Sakura turns off her lamp, sighing into her pillow.
Iruka and Kakashi hold one another in their bed, the sheets shoved down to the bottom of the mattress and Kakashi snoring lightly.
Tenzou sits in his workshop in one of his own chairs, thinking he should sleep as soon as this song was over. One more song…a few more minutes before surrendering to a sleeping pill to make him rest.
Sai paints – oblivious to time, bodily needs, radio shows, or the sound of Danzou hitting “repeat” on the paint-covered stereo before slipping away again to get a little rest.
Neji thrusts into Shika’s willing body and thinks not for the first time that Shikamaru lost the game on purpose. But when Shika moans his name – “Master, oh fuck me harder, Master!
” – Neji can’t find it in himself to give a good damn.
In his sleep, Sasori rolls over and pulls Deidara to him. The blond wakes up enough to smile and run slim fingers through red locks before sighing and putting a leg over Sasori’s hip. And in this way, Deidara holds Sasori through the only time he’s ever willing to be vulnerable: dreamtime.
Hinata dreams of her childhood friend, Naruto, and hugs a stuffed fox in her wide bed.
Kankuro lies on his couch thinking of the mysterious, reluctant caller with the pretty voice. He reaches one hand down to stroke himself, thinking it’d be perfect to come and fall asleep while that sound is still clear in his mind.
The poker game is over, and Kimimaro takes Haku home, holding his hand in a friendly way.
Asuma manages not to wake Kurenai as he crawls into bed – he smiles at her before laying down, grateful for a normal, happy life.
Genma calls out Raidou’s name as he comes down the back of his lover’s throat, the orgasm making his toes curl and the air leave his lungs. It’s so, so good.
With Naruto’s weight finally curled around him, Sasuke drifts off to sleep with a smile pulling at the corners of his mouth. He’s never more amiable than after they play, and Naruto kisses the back of his beloved’s neck as he, too, stumbles onto the always-crowded streets of dreamland.
Gaara eats cold chicken in his dark kitchen and doesn’t think it unusual or lonely.
And across the way, Jody slides out from under an old Volkswagen with a thoughtful look on his face. He hopes Gaara found the chicken casserole and thinks it’s time to hit the hay.
But outside under the three stars and one planet that cut through the light pollution, the city doesn’t dream or sleep or fuck or eat – it waits. Morning will be upon them all soon enough, and with dawn comes more deals to make and rules to break. There is a death toll for every night – penance for sinners and an offering to the little gods of progress and violence and mayhem.
Fate will count her pennies and her pints of blood.
And she will smile upon the denizens of these streets and shops…and quietly bask in shadow until her time comes once again with the turning of the earth and the deepening of twilight.~*~A/N:
This piece actually has a title (which you probably guessed):
Monoshizukanohi At Night
Sometimes it feels like I should have written this section first; sometimes it feels like THIS is the world in which I like to play when I write these characters, and finally I can do a wide-pan shot of everything and say, "SEE! Lookit!"
But really, what this piece does is act as catch-up.
You know Gaara, now.
You've met Jody.
And now you know all the rest - the players and lovers and haters and what they do after-hours. They're not *all* here (Lee/Gai/Ibiki/Itachi/Pein/etc...they're in my world, just not listening to the radio!!!). But I like to think that this is the bridge in the music that accompanies this story in my head: a link from past to present.
And, of course, now you know who's got the balls - and a mighty fine set they are, folks - to go after our beloved, mostly-crazy, sociopathic redhead.
Show some love for the Kiba.
A Note On Accents
Kiba speaks with a sort of...non-nasal, deep-Boston/New England accent. "Car" sounds like "Cah" and "there" sounds like "they-ah." He clips his words, slurs his endings, and talks very fast. BUT! For his radio show, he cleans it up. Hence my choices on sometimes using "ya" or "you."
Also worth nothing: Naruto sort of speaks this way, too, only to a much lesser degree (working in the Fortune 500 World will make you clean up your act, after all).
Jody, however, drawls like a southern boy from Louisiana. Actually - more like North Carolina tidal country. His speech is slow, steady, and rolling, and while both he and Kiba might say "ain't" they say it entirely differently.
I like playing with dialogue. Forgive me.
Chapter IV's song is Un bel di Vedremmo (One beautiful day, butterfly) from Madame Butterfly. See extras in Main Story Entry for rest of soundtrack and links.
This might be one of my favorite things I've ever done - so, erm...be kind, yes?
Much love, dark nights, and deep bite marks,
~Your Demented Tour Guide, Darkprism