The Sacrifice

BY : Sasunarufan13
Category: Naruto > Yaoi - Male/Male > Naruto/Sasuke
Dragon prints: 684
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto nor make profit of it. Kishimoto owns it.

Author's note: I appear to be in a rather fairy talish mood this year. Who knows how my mind works, really (I don't).

Warnings: Sakura's pov; Alternate universe; kind of medievalish setting; fairy talish elements; werewolves; gore; implied violence; implied harrassment; description dead bodies; character death; slash; different pov at the end; time skips

I hope you'll like it!

The Sacrifice

The council normally never came together at her house. Her mother normally never explicitly told her to stay out of the room either. Those two reasons were good enough for Sakura to sneak back downstairs once the front door closed for the final time and she heard voices in the kitchen.

The whole council must be here tonight then if her parents were using the kitchen as the place to gather; it was the only room large enough to host twelve people at once.

She descended the stairs on her tiptoes and quietly approached the kitchen door, flinching when the coldness of the tiles seeped through her thin stockings. There was light dancing across the floor and chairs scraped loudly before everyone finally settled down.

"Anyone have any ideas how to deal with the beast's demand?" Sarutobi, their town leader, asked wearily.

Sakura masked her gasp just in time. The beast Sarutobi was referring to was a creature which had taken to camp out somewhere in the woods surrounding their town. They hadn't known at first that something vicious had settled down so close to them until people started disappearing one by one – only to be found back torn to pieces, slaughtered like pigs, and more often than not missing limbs.

She'd never come across one of the bodies, thank the gods, but she had heard from others what a gruesome sight they had offered, tilting even the most hardened people in their town over the edge to upend their stomachs at the sight of the mutilated bodies. The murders had forced an evening clock in the town, forbidding people from leaving their homes after darkness had fallen.

They had thought they were searching for a particular vicious murderer at first, sending out groups of guards to track down the killer. The search parties had lasted for a month until one of them had returned, as pale as a ghost, stammering about the beast's demands. Kakashi Hatake, the leader of their police force, had been sent into the forest next, in order to hear the beast's demands as the first messenger had gone completely insane only two hours after returning.

Kakashi had spoken of a huge wolf like beast who'd towered over him, nearly two heads taller than the white haired man. Yet despite his animalistic appearances, the beast was capable of talking and had informed Kakashi the killings would only stop once a sacrifice had been given to him. The beast gave them until tomorrow afternoon to find one.

"Can't we just send some men and have them kill the beast?" Father suggested.

"No." That was Kakashi. "I have been in close contact with the beast and witnessed his formidable form. There's no way any of our weapons would be able to penetrate those muscles."

"Perhaps in a group of at least six," Father tried, but was once more rebuked by Kakashi.

"I am certain I mentioned in my report how silent and more importantly how fast he moved - there's no one in this town quick enough to keep up with him and frankly, I'm not willing to risk facing that beast's ire."

"The beast has already killed off six of our good men – what worse can he do?" Mother scoffed.

"Slaughter the entire town instead, I imagine," Kakashi retorted bored. "Which is what is going to happen if we do not come up with someone to act as sacrifice soon."

It was quiet for a while until Hyuuga Hiashi spoke, "So who are we going to send to act as a sacrifice? Considering you keep referring to the beast as a he, would it perhaps be best if we send one of the girls?"

"We will not sacrifice any of the girls!" Mother instantly snapped; her voice a tad shrill near the end.

Sakura winced, wrapping her arms around herself to suppress a shudder. No, she did not fancy the risk of being the one chosen to placate the beast.

"Then who should we send?" Hiashi questioned frustratedly. "We do not have that much time left!"

"The answer is obvious," Danzo said silkily.

Sakura wrinkled her nose at the sound of the gravelly deep voice. Danzo was after Sarutobi one of the highest ranked people in the town, revered for his wisdom and his negotiation skills. It was partly due to his efforts that their town could co-exist with the nearby villages without fearing a war breaking out.

In spite of that, though, Sakura could never bring herself to actually like him. His eyes were too calculating, too cold, for her to be at ease whenever she crossed him. There were rumours too, of course, whispers that he was planning to stage a coup and take over the control over the town from Sarutobi. So far those just remained whispers, but it was telling of the sort of man Danzo was that nobody had trouble believing those rumours.

"Oh? And what answer is that then?" Nara Shikaku inquired warily.

"We can all agree that we cannot waste our good men and women on that beast," Danzo said calmly. "Yet the beast requires a sacrifice to settle down. I propose we give him someone who won't be missed at all."

"Danzo," Sarutobi said warningly, but the second in command paid no heed to the tone of his voice.

"I propose we give the beast the orphan Uzumaki Naruto. He has no skills to speak of that would be of benefit to the town and his orphan status assures nobody will sorely miss him," he continued affably, like he wasn't suggesting they threw someone to the literal wolf.

Like he wasn't stating they should leave a boy Sakura had known her entire life but never cared much about to die in the woods once the beast got to him.

She didn't care about Naruto not because she particularly hated him, but more because she just didn't associate with him. Naruto was the strange kid, the one with the too bright laugh and too much energy for someone who had to return home alone every evening. The one who'd survived when a severe illness had taken both his parents away, but who didn't have anyone to care for him while he grew up.

Well, there was the town doctor Tsunade, but she was getting there in age and while she might care for Naruto at some level, the two of them didn't share any blood.

Completely alone, nobody to care about him, too clumsy and too loud, with no useful skills that could aid the town … In a morbid sense Naruto was the only suitable one they could offer as a sacrifice.

The only person nobody would miss once he was gone.

The heavy silence in the kitchen proved that everyone had reached the same conclusion.

There were still some half-hearted protests from Sarutobi and interestingly enough from Kakashi too, but when the town council disbanded three hours later at the stroke of midnight, their decision had been taken.

Uzumaki Naruto would be sacrificed to the beast so that no one should mourn the loss of their loved one.

As Sakura laid there in her bed, staring at the dark ceiling, listening to an owl hoot in the distance, followed by a dog barking, she thought she should at least feel something at the realisation that someone she grew up with would soon be offered to the beast.

All she felt, after lying there for a long time, was guilty relief that at least it wouldn't be her or any of the people she cared about who would be forced to act as a sacrifice.

It's for the best, she told herself, turning to lie down on her right side, slipping one arm underneath her pillow. The rough cloth felt cool against her bare skin.

Sure it would have been better if the beast had never settled into the woods, but if they had to lose somebody to it, it was preferably someone nobody would really miss.

Unfortunately for Naruto, he was the one person in their town who nobody would miss.

It was early in the morning and she had just started eating her breakfast when piercing screams cut through the peaceful silence.

Heart thudding quickly, she could only sit there frozen at the table, listening to Naruto screaming and shrieking to let him go, to release him, to not give him to the beast. Her house was close to the town gates and so she was forced to listen to his shrieking and begging as they dragged him past her house, out of the gates and into the woods.

Long after the group had disappeared with Naruto into the woods, his screaming lingered in the air and she swallowed with some difficulty, staring down at her rice.

Mother's hands cupped her cheeks and coaxed her to look at her. She met her mother's warm, sympathetic gaze before closing her eyes as the older woman kissed her forehead.

"Don't think about it. We're safe and that's all that matters," she whispered and hugged her daughter firmly.

Sakura wrapped her own arms around her mother, embracing her just as tightly. Mother was right. They were safe now, safe from the beast's ire and his killing streak, and that was all that mattered.

One person sacrificed compared to the hundreds who might have been killed otherwise – they had made the best deal possible.

She felt a bit sorry for Naruto, but mostly she was relieved that neither she nor her family or friends would be in danger again.

Life returned quickly to normal again after the group returned from the woods.

For a beast he apparently knew how to keep his word, because as promised upon the offer of the sacrifice, no deaths were reported anymore. Everyone walked on eggshells the first two weeks, not daring to believe that the beast would be mollified enough to leave them alone.

The first week ended with no additional deaths reported. The second one started out safe and ended like that as well. As the weeks went on without people being attacked, everyone started breathing easily again.

They had lost six people – seven if one counted Naruto – but the beast was finally leaving them alone. It had people coming up to the town council members, thanking them for doing the right thing and choosing the perfect sacrifice to placate the beast. Most of the council members were glad to accept the gratitude, but it was no secret that Kakashi wasn't too happy with the course of events.

Sakura didn't really know what kind of relationship he'd shared with Naruto, but she could remember Kakashi visiting the boy occasionally. She'd never figured out why – was it to check on the one orphan not being cared for by someone in the village? Was it to teach him some kind of skill? Whichever the reason, it was clear that Kakashi wasn't happy with the town's decision to sacrifice Naruto.

At some level Sakura understood Kakashi, but really, what other choice did they have? Naruto was the only one nobody would miss – it was only logical to offer him to the beast then.

She knew better than to utter that sentiment aloud around Tsunade, though. The older woman had agreed to teach her medicine and she didn't want to risk the doctor's refusal should Tsunade know her real thoughts about Naruto being the sacrifice. Tsunade's quite vocal outburst after she'd discovered what had happened to Naruto would surely go straight into the history books.

Sakura hadn't quite understood the depth of the bond between Tsunade and Naruto until she had encountered her screaming at Sarutobi and Danzo in the middle of the town centre, cursing them to hell and back for throwing Naruto to the wolves. She had actually made way to leave the town, possibly to get Naruto back somehow, but then Kakashi had appeared and had dragged her away, talking to her in a hushed voice.

Whatever he had told her, was unknown, but it did keep the doctor inside the town – but the poisonous looks she threw at the council members whenever she crossed paths with them made it clear that she hadn't forgiven them. Perhaps would never forgive them.

Sakura didn't really understand the older woman. She didn't share any blood with Naruto, wasn't related in any way, so what did it matter that the council had chosen him to give to the beast? As a doctor, she should know that the lives of many took precedence over the life of one person.

She knew better than to utter her opinion, though. Let Tsunade mourn Naruto if she wanted to; as long as she taught Sakura her skills, it didn't matter that she held a much different opinion about the choice of the sacrifice than the rest of them did.

It was one of the coldest winter days yet and she trudged through the foot thick layer of snow; watching her breath escape her in visible white clouds. It was still early in the morning and mother had sent her out to buy a loaf of bread. She hadn't wanted to go out in the cold, had wanted to take advantage of the one day reprieve she finally had from studying medicine – Tsunade was a very good teacher, but a ruthless one too and she demanded nothing but pure perfection from her student – but mother had sent her out with the threat that she would otherwise have to kill one of the chickens for dinner tonight.

Being forced to kill a chicken and pluck its feathers? No, thank you. She'd rather brace the cold.

And so she did, holding the still warm loaf against her stomach, keeping it covered from the sharp cold wind with her long cape. At least mother would be waiting with hot tea, which should help warm her up again.

At first she paid no attention to the group of three men gathered in front of a small shack with its door open until she was almost past them and heard,

"You have any idea who would break into Uzumaki's old place?" a man asked gruffly.

Unwillingly she slowed down, pretending to fiddle with the strings of her cape as she eavesdropped.

"No," Kakashi said shortly and from the corner of her eye she saw him running a hand through his wild, white hair before rapping the doorjamb. "It makes no sense either. This isn't a rich man's home where you can find expensive valuables. Why would anyone want to break into a long abandoned shack?"

"Did anything get taken away?" another man, one who'd started to bald, asked curiously.

"I looked around. Whoever it was only took some blankets and some pictures with them." Kakashi shook his head. "This has to be the strangest theft ever recorded in this town."

No longer having an excuse to linger, Sakura continued her journey home; this time with a slight frown marring her forehead. Who on earth would want to break into some old shack? Only for some blankets and some pictures? That was so strange. Not that she encouraged breaking into homes, but wouldn't it make more sense to break into the house of someone actually rich like Danzo?

"You better not have flattened that loaf, Sakura," Mother sighed when the young woman walked into the kitchen.

"Of course not, mother," she sighed, turning her head away to roll her eyes.

"Did something happen on the way home? You have a strange look on your face." Mother studied her curiously, taking the kettle off the fire when it started whistling.

Sakura thought about the three men in front of Naruto's old shack, about blankets and pictures stolen, and shook her head.

"No, nothing. Just that it's very cold outside."

"Yes, yes, that's why I have tea for you ready. Here, drink up."

"Did you hear it?" Ino, her best friend, accosted her when she turned around the corner, having just finished today's medicine lesson.

Adjusting her bag better on her shoulder, she raised an eyebrow. "What should I have heard?"

Ino fell into step with her, her hands buried deeply into the pockets of her deep blue cape. Her long blonde hair was done up in a bun today with some loose curls framing her beautiful face.

Her light blue eyes were both wide and piercing when she looked at Sakura and replied, "They found a body near the farm of the Inuzuka family. Apparently the head's missing; they're still looking for it." Her voice descended into a hush when she added, "But even without the head, it's clear who it is, though. Old pervert Mizuki, remember him?"

Sakura shuddered, curling her lip up in disgust. Mizuki was a teacher at the local school who tended to be rather 'free' in the way he touched students. There had never been any substantial proof, the man being backed up by Danzo himself, but none of the students liked Mizuki.

Sakura had fortunately never been subjected to an unwelcome touch from the older man, being the daughter of an important council member, but nevertheless she had felt his disgusting gaze appraise her often whenever she'd followed a class with him.

Very few people liked the man, but it still came as a shock to her to hear that he'd been killed.

Beheaded even.

"Do they know who's behind this?" she asked wide-eyed.

Ino shook her head, pursing her lips slightly. "No, but given how basically the entire town hated him, I guess it's going to be difficult to find the killer." She looked around her, checking the street and upon finding themselves alone, she murmured, "Can't really say I feel sorry for the pervert, though. Whoever killed him should get a medal."

Sakura just hummed in response, agreeing with her friend. Mizuki's death was no real loss to the town, really. One less pervert students had to worry about.

The first death seemed to be the tipping point. One by one villagers were found murdered. Some were found at the edge of the town like Mizuki, some in the fields just outside the gates; others in their own houses.

Once bodies were being found in houses, people started panicking completely. A full lockdown of the town was ordered every night, with the gates locking at six p.m. sharply. Anyone still lingering outside the gates had bad luck; they would have to spend the night outside the walls and hope they would survive the freezing nights.

Guards patrolled the streets, people caught outside after six were questioned and practically herded back to their homes. Everyone – both women and men – could only go outside if there was at least one more person with them. Anyone alone was regarded with much suspicion as fear took a hold on the town and its inhabitants when men kept being found dead.

Cut to pieces, beheaded, disembowelled, sliced into two … Sakura was never present when they discovered the bodies, but she'd seen the drawings on Tsunade's desk and the sight of them alone, charcoal lines on paper but drawn with such accuracy they looked like paintings, had her heaving more than once, finding the nearest bucket to dispel her breakfast or lunch.

Their numbers were dwindling fast and everyone wondered just who could behind these gruesome murders, who was so vicious and cruel to attack them and kill them in the middle of the night. Had they made enemies somehow? Was one of the villages nearby no longer charmed by Danzo's promises and had decided to take them all over by culling their numbers like they were mere animals?

January had reached midway when the mysterious killer finally left a clue behind: four pawprints, deeply embedded in the fresh snow, right in front of the latest body. Hyuuga Neji, the nephew of council member Hyuuga Hiashi, had been dumped in front of the gates, his throat slit so deeply his head had been nearly cut off and his intestines drooping out of the large cut in his stomach.

The Beast was back to hunting them all down.

The council had been holding meetings every day now, but they still weren't closer to reaching a solution. It was clear that a party had to be sent out to the Beast in order to find out whether the Beast required another sacrifice – but nobody was willing to take up the task.

Once again there had been suggestions of hunting down the Beast and kill it once and for all, but those suggestions were quickly shot down again. Considering how fast the Beast moved and how he managed to get into even the heaviest guarded buildings, there was no way anyone in their town could take him on. They were already missing a good chunk of their men; they couldn't risk sending even more out to what surely would be their downfall.

Something had to be done, however; that was something everyone could agree upon during all those meetings. The question remained: what? What could be done against a Beast so mighty it slayed even their strongest men? Which moved so swiftly, so quietly through the town that nobody noticed anything was amiss until they stumbled upon the bodies in the morning?

Sakura thought she had an idea. After looking through all the reports and the pictures, she'd noticed one glaring similarity: all the victims so far had been men. No woman had been reported killed; this meant perhaps that the Beast was solely interested in killing men, not women. Surely if he didn't have a preference, they would have come across dead women too?

That they hadn't, meant there was a chance that a woman stood to survive a confrontation more with the Beast than men did. Perhaps the Beast thought all women were weak and therefore not worthy of his attention. While Sakura bristled at that assumption, never having appreciated being considered weak just because she was a woman, she was going to take advantage of that now.

It was an inane far too dangerous idea, she acknowledged, checking the crudely drawn map once more before marching onwards. She couldn't be certain of her assumption, was putting herself at risk, but she had to do this.

While the council members were trying to figure out who to sacrifice next to the Beast – either as a real sacrifice or as a messenger – they were losing more and more good men to this monster. This couldn't keep going on. Soon they would reach the point where only the male children were left alive and that was a thought she could not stomach.

It was time something was done about this and it was going to be up to her to do something about it.

Briefly she rested her hand on her right hip, comforted at the presence of hard steel there. She wasn't dumb; she'd come prepared with the sharpest knife she had found, one which she had taken from Tsunade's cabinet. She'd wrapped it up in leather to avoid cutting her own flesh with it. The knife was strong enough to cut through human bones – it would surely be strong enough to inflict a lot of damage to the Beast should she need to defend herself.

She hoped it wouldn't have to come to that, but … They couldn't keep living in fear. She needed to find out what had set the Beast off again after months of living in peace.

Steeling herself, paying no mind to the ice cold wind stinging her cheeks, she made her way further into the woods, only guided by the map one of the scouts had drawn months ago and the courage to do the right thing.

The cave was an entire complex.

Dumbfounded she hovered in front of the three corridors which greeted her several feet deep within the cave. She'd overheard the scouts saying that the Beast lived in a cave – but they had never mentioned there was an entire network of corridors within the cave!

They looked nature worn, but nevertheless she spotted some deep groves around the entrances, looking remarkably well like claws, and she swallowed. All at once it dawned upon her that she was standing in the Beast's home, and the urge to flee from here while she still could was nearly overwhelming.

She hadn't come across the Beast so far, nor had heard any suspicious sounds betraying his presence. All she could hear was the howling wind and the occasional smack of snow slipping off branches and landing on the forest floor. She would almost assume she was at the wrong cave, if not for some half buried animal – human? – bones she'd found discarded in the snow covered bushes outside.

This was definitely the Beast's home. Now the question was: which of the corridors would lead her to him? Did she even want to find out? Maybe her not having encountered him so far was a sign from above that she needed to abandon her plan and flee homewards again.

No. She had come this far; she wouldn't give up now. She could be the key to finally stopping this murder spree; she wasn't going to let that chance slip through her fingers just because she was afraid.

There's nothing wrong with being afraid, she told herself, taking a hesitant step forwards. It was perfectly natural to be afraid even, considering what was potentially lurking deep within this complex. Fear was healthy; she just couldn't let it rule her now.

So she took a deep breath, braced herself, and walked into the corridor on her left.

This deep in the cavern it was pitch black, darker than the night. The thick stone kept natural light from penetrating here, and she was forced to shuffle slowly forwards; using her hand against the rough stone wall to guide her along.

It was also silent, so quiet; the silence pressing down on her ears. It had all her senses on hyper alert and sweat broke out, making the back of her neck clammy and her dress stick to her chest. Sometimes she thought she felt a spider's leg brush against her fingers and it took every last shred of self-control she had not to start screaming every time something strange touched her.

She had matches in the pocket of her dress, but she was reluctant to use them; not wanting to announce her presence beforehand. A part of her worried it was already too late to worry about that; her breathing seemed unbearably loud in the confined space – was it possible that the Beast heard her approach?

If so, wouldn't he have attacked her by now already?

Clinging to that vague hope – that the Beast would already have attacked her by now if he heard her approach – she walked deeper and deeper into the cavern, absurdly wondering whether there would ever come an end to this corridor.

Or would it end up straight into Hell, like some sort of evil portal?

At first she thought her eyes were playing tricks on her when the darkness seemed to fade in the distance, making way for a faint orange red glow. As she came closer and closer, however, she realised her eyes weren't fooling here – there was some kind of light further down the corridor.

She quickened her step, her heartbeat quickening in response, focusing on the soft glow to guide her out of the corridor at long last.

She almost stumbled when she stepped out of the corridor, having missed the small drop in height, and her mouth fell open when her eyes adjusted themselves to the light after such a long time travelling through the darkness.

If she didn't know any better, she would think she was standing in a room belonging more to a royal palace than simply being a hollow place inside a cavern. There was a fire merrily burning away blocks of wood right across from her in a makeshift fireplace, which explained the glow she'd seen before. The smoke of the fire was travelling upwards instead of lingering in the space, making her think there must be some sort of hole in the ceiling which led outside.

A large fur blanket – had it once been a bear? – was spread out in front of the fire. On her right there was some sort of alcove in which a crudely crafted table and two chairs had been placed. For some reason there was a kettle on the table, with one dark blue cup and one dark orange placed next to it.

Mystified by the presence of such mundane objects, she almost missed it: a nest made out of a couple of blankets and several furs, the furthest removed from the entrance.

And underneath several layers of fur, there was someone resting with their back turned to her. Someone with bright blond hair, someone who was definitely male when they turned around in their sleep, showing their naked chest.

A boy she and everyone else had assumed was long dead.

Shocked beyond belief, she could only gape at the sight, breathing out, "Na- "

"What are you doing here."

The question delivered in the flattest tone of voice she'd ever heard had her whirling around in fright. Her mouth dropped open again when her eyes landed on the most beautiful man she'd ever seen. A man with hair as black as the night, skin as pale as the moon, eyes dark and piercing; a frown marring full, pale pink lips. His cheekbones looked sharp enough to cut and she promptly reddened when her brain finally registered that the man was completely naked.

He stood in all his naked glory near the fireplace, looking completely at ease, as if it was a regular occurrence for him to walk around without any clothes. Certainly, the cave was pleasantly warm thanks to the fire, but who in their right mind would walk around naked in the middle of a harsh winter?!

Despite her doubts about the state of his mind, she had a hard time keeping her eyes on his face and not further down and she had to swallow; her hands feeling clammy all of a sudden.

"I asked you a question." Again the same flat tone, but she couldn't help but notice how smooth and husky his voice sounded.

It made shivers run down her spine, shivers that had nothing to do with the cold outside, and something in her squirmed funnily.

"I – I came looking for – for the Beast," she stammered, cursing herself for sounding like such a wreck in front of such a handsome man.

He tilted his head to the left. "The Beast. Why?"

Interlacing her fingers behind her back so he wouldn't notice them trembling, she replied shakily, "To – to talk to him. T-try to find out what he wants as – as a sa-sacrifice now."

That, for some reason, made the man smirk slightly. "Already preparing a second sacrifice?"

"What else could he want?" she asked helplessly. "He started killing our men again – there has to be something he wants in order to stop." She was glad her voice was firm once more, even if she still felt shaky. The man was making her feel weird things and she couldn't really figure out what those weird things were yet.

"You ever thought of questioning why he's killing them?" he asked. His tone could be called almost friendly, but there was something in his voice, something lurking within, that had her regarding him carefully.

"Because he's a monster and that's all they know how to do?" she offered, shifting her leg slightly.

That answer made him smirk again and he came closer until he was only two feet away from her. Her cheeks were definitely a fire red now, she could practically feel the heat blasting off them, as she forced herself to keep her gaze aimed at his face solely.

"You ever considered that perhaps he's punishing them?" he suggested silkily.

"Punishing them?" She shook her head confused. "Why would he punish us? He doesn't know us!"

"Perhaps he has heard things about you," he murmured and started circling her; the action both slow yet predatory at the same time.

She turned around to follow him, feeling very uncomfortable at the thought of having her back to him for some reason.

"Perhaps he's been told about how the town treats certain people within it and decided to do something about it," he continued, his voice light and airy, yet his words sounding dark. "Perhaps he knows all about the sins those people carry with them and decided to dole out an appropriate punishment. Have you ever thought about that, hm?"

She shook her head rapidly, feeling cold for an inexplicable reason, even though there was not even a draft of wind to be felt here. "I don't know what you're talking about."

He halted in front of her, closer than before. So close she could see his eyes glowing even though his back was turned towards the fire.

"You don't? What a pity," he smiled mockingly. "I'm in a good mood today, so I'll help you out. Perhaps the Beast has heard about the harassment one of you had to endure. Perhaps he's been told how badly one of you was treated for years, how so very few people cared about one of you. How easy it was for all of you to discard this person, to give him away as a sacrifice to the Beast without even blinking twice. Perhaps the Beast heard how one of you was told that they had to be the sacrifice because nobody cared about them."

Another step closer.

"And maybe the Beast made a list of every single person who ever hurt the sacrifice. And that list is long – very long." The man smiled sharply.

Was it a trick of the shadows or did his teeth look sharper than most people's teeth?

"And so perhaps the Beast decided he would make sure every single one of you suffer just as much as you made his sacrifice suffer. Perhaps he thinks it's fitting that you go through the same pain you put the sacrifice through for all those years. Maybe, just maybe, he wants to erase years of pain."

"And – and why would he – he want to do that?" Her mouth was as dry as sand, fear settling like a lump in her throat as she started to realise just who she was talking to, but no matter how much she willed her limbs to move, she could only stand there frozen, watch him come closer and closer.

Look horrified at him as teeth elongated and pale skin became hidden underneath thick, dark hair; claws sprouting forth out of what had been slender, elegant fingers just ten seconds earlier. Listen in horror as bones cracked and bent and twisted into grotesques shapes.

Could only stand there and cry silently as he towered above her, his beautiful face replaced by the head of a ravenous wolf with gleaming red eyes and bared, pure white teeth.

Right as she opened her mouth to scream, finally finding her voice, a clawed hand pressed across her mouth, cutting her off. The force behind it slammed her against the wall, her head knocking against the unforgiving stone hard, and darkness started to bleed into her vision, as she stared disorientated at the monster in front of her.

"Because he's mine," the Beast growled, hot breath blasting in her face.

Then he snapped his head down and she felt the pressure of sharp teeth in her neck before he tore her skin away.

Deep red splashed across her vision, animalistic growls filled her ears, the horrible scent of copper wafted up around her, hellish pain – nothing like she'd ever experience before – erupted in her and then –


The blond boy stirred when he crawled into the nest behind him, still licking his teeth clean.

"Was there some kind of animal in here?" Naruto questioned sleepily, cracking one eye open to look at him blearily. He rolled around so he would not have to crane his neck around to gaze at the older man. "I thought I heard you growling."

Sasuke smiled, resting his hand on the boy's stomach where the faintest bump had just become visible. Nuzzling the mark he'd left behind in Naruto's neck three months ago, pride filling him at the sight and the touch of it, he murmured, "Yeah, I killed it and took it outside."

"Hm, if it's a deer, can we cook it?" Naruto's eyes were already falling shut again as he buried himself against Sasuke's chest, seeking out his warmth. "I'm in the mood to eat some deer," he added sleepily.

Sasuke smiled fondly and kissed his mouth. "Whatever you want, love."

And whatever Naruto wanted, he would get, no matter what it was. Sasuke would make sure of that.

After all, his sacrifice deserved everything he would ever need or want.

The End

AN2: I may or may not be planning a side story to this in Naruto's pov, because my brain clearly hates me. Would there be any interest in that?

Either way I hope that despite the overall darkish theme of this fic, you still enjoyed reading it. Please leave your thoughts behind in a review; should you spot any mistakes, please point them out to me.

I hope to see you all back in my future stories! Please stay safe and take care of yourselves!



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