Chapter Six: Reprieve

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Sooooooo sorry for long wait! Sumimasen! D:

Enjoy the new chapter :3

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I woke up after a night of half-sleeping to see that He had returned, this excursion having lasted much longer than previous. Or maybe not. Days and nights melded into one in the room that daylight didn't reach. That same blank-yet-proud expression was on his face; his eyes glimmered as though he was proud of himself for something. It was all I could do not to spit curses- I only glared.

"Oh, someone could be in a better mood." he sneered somehow pleasantly, "What, did you not sleep well?"

I didn't say anything, half wondering what little humanity he must have to enjoy torturing me so when I was clearly helpless. He knew I hadn't slept well... and that was exactly why he asked. Who could sleep easily on a concrete mattress with the possibility of death looming over them?

Minutes passed in which we merely stared at each other; his expression remained calmly amused, while beads of sweat dewed on my face with the exacerbated strain of propping myself up. I gave a grunt of frustration as my arm gave out from beneath me, landing in a heap on top of it. My arms were too clumsy in this state to rescue me from the fall. My back heaved with my breathing, and I was- not for the first time- glad I was too dehydrated to cry. I hated feeling so weak, so helpless. I hadn't felt this way for such a long time. My chest tightened with anger and frustration, a ball growing in my throat. I wondered if death by asphyxiation would be more painless than remaining here any longer.

"Have you not been eating?" he asked, seeming to grow annoyed when I didn't answer. But, rather than striking me as I expected, he simply looked around to answer his own question.

I think I would rather he had struck me. "Why have you not been eating? Stupid girl, why won't you just do as you're told?!" he struck me out of frustration, and I wondered absently if I was becoming a Masochist- rather than hurting, a type of relief came from the pain. His foot slammed into my stomach, throwing me to the side, causing my throat to cough up fluid. It stung like vomit. Maybe that's what it was- it wasn't like I had enough food in my stomach to properly throw up, anyway. "This is severely detrimental to your health! Idiot!"

I curled into the ground against the blows, unsure if more were coming, "Since when... do you care about- my health?" I spluttered, winded from the force of his assault. He ignored my retort, and I didn't blame him. I wouldn't pay any attention to someone as pathetic as myself, either.

"Am I going to have to start force feeding you again?" he asked irritably, that voice so calm, always so calm, completely converse to his face and actions. It terrified me. Even so, I turned my head away, cursing myself all the while. Sometimes I had no sense.

I felt temperate fingers approach my scalp, and the hairs on the back of my neck rose, anticipating the pain seconds before it arrived. His fingers wove tightly through my hair, pulling me by it to sit up and forcing my head back. Every innate response told me to struggle, but I didn't have the energy. My mouth was painfully prised open, and something scratched heavily down the back of my throat, almost triggering my gag reflex. Danna's hand clamped over my mouth and nose, those cruel, manipulative lips whispering that I'd have to swallow if I wanted to breathe again. Sounds that would have been screams forced their way from me- my throat was too dry and the food was lodged, and my lungs were burning for Oxygen. He let go of me at the movement of my throat and I dropped, coughing and choking and pulling in deep lungfuls of dry air that burned all the way down. Tearless cries escaped me, my fight and pride gone as I lay at his mercy on the floor.

"Are you going to eat by yourself like a good girl?" his voice rang through the room, and I kept my eyes on the floor, chest heaving.

"Yes!" I choked, the terror at the possibility of facing that trauma again deciding for me. The degradation I felt made me want to cry more than anything else.

"Good." he responded mellowly, resuming the position sat on his bed that he usually took while I ate.

It was a while before I could bring myself to even look at him after that. It took me a few days before I could even breathe easily when he passed me. But after a while, I managed to recover my original behaviour. He hadn't beaten me yet. He hadn't won.

But my insides still shook when it came to meals. I couldn't bring myself to protest at those times.

"Why didn't you just let me die?" I asked, surprising myself with the question. It had been on my mind a lot. Surely it would be more beneficial to allow the poison to just kill me? It didn't make sense, and I was sure he could tell this- even though I did my best to retain my mistrustful and wary tone. He could always just kidnap another poor, unsuspecting person to become his test subject.

"Aren't you glad? I was under the impression you had something of a lust for life." I said nothing, continuing to watch him. I didn't know why I even asked, his answer would most likely be something I didn't want to hear. He frowned, sighing, "It would be troublesome to secure another test subject right now. At the moment your life is valuable- at least until I can isolate the gene of your gift."

So, in other words, you're looking to steal the DNA for my freak power, then you don't care what happens to me? I thought to myself, giving an inner shudder as I imagined the kinds of things he would try to test the limits of my ability.

Then I stopped a moment, realising what the earlier statement entailed. "Right now"? What did he mean by that? Were the Hidden Villages on high alert or something?

"But... why?" the strange look I received from Danna told me that there was too much hope in my voice. I flinched and dropped my gaze.

"It seems that one of the Villages figured out that Akatsuki has been active in their village. They notified others to be on the lookout." something glinted in his eyes- a look I recognised as an idea forming in his malicious brain. Safe to say, I didn't like that look.

It was gone as fast as it came, and I returned to my food, but it stuck in my throat. A knot of distress and fear formed in my stomach.

"Yes, I suppose that would be plausible..." I looked up again at the absent musing, tense and slightly nervous as to where this could lead. His unfocused eyes settled on me, clearing immediately. "Tomorrow you can go to the Sand Village."

I froze, heart leaping. I was sure I'd heard wrong, "What?"

He sighed, irritably. "Must I repeat myself? Stupid girl."

"But... why?" my heart sank. There was no way he'd just let me go. There had to be some ulterior motive. Danna rolled his eyes.

"Don't you want to go collect your things?" he said carelessly, eyes on the drawing he had begun without me noticing. It looked technical, with lots of annotations, from what I could see. "You are going to be here for a long time, I just thought that you might appreciate the time to tie up loose ends and make your stay more... comfortable." I stared blankly at him, and he finally looked up, irritated again, "What, you aren't going to take advantage of this kindness I'm offering you?"

I panicked, and quickly exclaimed a "No! I want to go!", tossing aside my doubts so that I couldn't lose this chance. The thought of returning home, seeing my family- it was beyond comprehension, and it broke me, "Please!"

"Fine. You leave first thing in the morning. You better eat, you will need the energy." he said, "You'll die in the desert if not."

"Yes!" I said, excitement settling in my stomach despite myself. I looked back down to my meal, once again resuming eating.

However, I didn't look down fast enough to miss the curve of a calculating smirk settle onto his face.

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So... is Sasori finally starting to get to our dear Yuki? Who knows, maybe his torture is finally having an abrasive effect on her mental state... or maybe not ;D

Again, sorry for the long wait! I've been so busy, like you wouldn't believe! But the update is here now, so enjoy! :D

Let's hope she doesn't die on the way to Suna... that'd be anticlimactic xD

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