Authoress Pre-ramble: So getting this chapter out took longer than expected. I wasn't quite sure how to go about it at first and left it hanging for a few weeks. Then work actually picked up and was sadly bereft of writing time.
Thank you to those of you who have read and/or reviewed so far. I love my lurkers just as much as my reviewers!
Title: Weapon Shichi
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, and this makes me sad. It also means I make no money from this venture. Naruto belongs to Misashi Kishimoto. I do own Shichi, my OC!
Main Pairings: Eventual IbikixOC
Rating: M for mentioned violence & adult themes
Warning: AU, timeline? what's that? BDSM themes. Also is OC-centric. Hold your pants, all will be revealed as the story progresses.
For Shichi, the next day confirmed the drug was working out of her system at the anticipated pace. A small tremor could be felt along her left forearm where her fracture was beginning to make her use her ability to hide she was in pain. The continued lack of food and water were beginning to affect her by creating a small headache, so far easily ignored. Today she decided she would attempt to confuse her captors by being more docile during her room transfer for the interrogation.
For their part, the ANBU who did the transferring make no indication they had knowledge of her fracture or any instruction to treat her carefully. An abrupt cessation in their breathing was the only outward sign that their sense of smell was being offended from her refusal to bathe.
Again she was shoved into the white room with the instruction to wash. After sniffing the orange bucket to determine it was only water and giving it a cursory tasting, Shichi decided to take a few small sips of the water she had no idea when she would see again before only cleaning her cuts.
The woman named "Anko" again walked into the room after a period of hours. Instead of additional ANBU bringing chairs and a table, she walked in alone and stood.
Shichi sat down on the floor and stared ahead, refusing to acknowledge the power-play of the lack of seating. The silence passed with her controlling the muscle tremors in her left forearm.
Anko circled as she spoke. "My boss finds you interesting." She paused in her walking. "He's thinking of coming out from behind that desk he was promoted to and test how much his skills have rusted." The circling continued. "You wouldn't happen to have heard of Morino Ibiki..." The interrogator swiftly crouched and came nose to nose with Shichi. "Have you?" She sat back on her heels and looked to the side in speculation. "I haven't decided if he would be under- or overenthusiastic. I mean, you would be pretty if you actually bathed."
The invasion of personal space, idle threats, and bland insults were met with blank indifference. Shichi had heard of both Anko and Ibiki during her interrogation resistance training. If this woman, bearing resemblance to the images of the girl she was shown was indeed the same Anko who was refused Orochimaru's training and began working for Konoha's ANBU, she had instructions to eliminate her and Morino whenever the opportunity arose. She knew she would be presented with opportunities, unfortunately, she also knew she would be physically unable to follow through.
Suddenly, Anko blurred in movement.
Acting on instinct and ingrained training, Shichi managed to roll with the blow to her stomach. Her abilities may have been diminished from the drug working out of her system, but the human body's desire to remain uninjured was something that never went away. She concentrated on controlling her breathing while she was winded to refrain from gasping air back in. To let the enemy know she was affected, was to show they had superiority for the moment.
Anko grabbed Shichi roughly by the hair and applied steady pressure, forcing her to her feet. "Still not a talker?"
Blank stare. Controlled respiration and heart rate.
"Ibiki will do much worse. And you seem to be in worse shape than when you first came to our village. Are you physically able to handle that?"
Dead eyes slowly met Anko's searching gaze, still not uttering a word in acknowledgment, but allowing the stare to convey the message. Shichi had no allusions of getting out of physical techniques being used on her. Although injury was not to be intentionally sought out, she concentrated on her eyes sending the message that she didn't care what happened to her.
Giving the signal, but not letting go of her prisoner, Anko personally transferred Shichi back to her dark cell until the next interrogation.
Ibiki didn't expect Anko's report so soon. She usually took the full allotment of time allowed for turning everything thing. Pushing aside the other reports he was reading through, he regarded the frustrated stance of his second-arms crossed, scowling face, tapping her foot. He made the logical conclusion, "Shichi?"
"Physical intimidation doesn't phase her. Sucker punched her and she controlled her reactions too well." She blew her bangs out of her eyes and flopped into a chair. "Gave no outward indication of recognizing our names, but something..."
Ibiki watched Anko work through something about her time with the prisoner, drumming her fingers on his desk, and she leaned forward. "Differences from yesterday?" he probed.
"I decided to approach her alone, no chairs or table. She sat on the floor and avoided eye contact until after being punched. Then gave me the deadest eyes I've seen in a long time when I asked her if she thought she was physically capable of handling a session with you possibly not being in full control yourself. No verbalization at all this time. Still not bathing, just cleaning wounds. Seemed less willing to fight the transfer..." Anko trailed off.
This time he waited in silence.
"Nothing standard is going to work with her." She went from staring at nothing while she spoke to looking directly at him, something few could stomach. "It's like Danzo's Roots program." Anko leaned back and recrossed her arms, "No outward indication of recognizing our names, but something tells me we're on her target list too. I think whoever did her training gave her a long list of names of people to get rid of if she happened upon them."
"Corroborating evidence?" He watched as his second stood again and paced the room a few rounds.
"That's just it. Nothing to go on but a gut feeling. She works hard at giving nothing away."
"Changes?" Ibiki tried to refrain from sounding to eager, he hoped Anko would live up to the reputation she earned of being second to only him in getting needed Intel by any means necessary.
"Scheduling. Increase the unpredictability. Need to get her off balance and do the unexpected. Cell transfer, resume food and water." Anko barked out a laugh, "Maybe I should make her bathe and give her some clothes, she's too content to be dirty and naked."
"Proceed," he authorized. Ibiki approved of the change in tactics and thought it could benefit the process of breaking the prisoner if the privileges could then be restricted again. He reached for the report he had previously pushed aside when Anko showed no further need for discussion.
"Do we have an analysis of the drug they found in her system?" she asked as she half turned to walk out the door for once.
"Breaks down too readily. We haven't been able to get a stable enough sample to see what its effects were," he replied.
"So whatever it did, she would need frequent injections to keep up its effects," the female interrogator thought aloud. "So far no withdrawal has been evident, but if it does show up, we could use that as well." She turned back toward Ibiki. "I'll order the transfer and implement the changes tonight and report in the morning."
Ibiki shook his head after Anko once again disappeared by teleportation jutsu instead of using the door.
Shichi found her dosing disturbed when someone approached outside of her cell. From the footsteps, she surmised it was Anko...alone. This was a break from routine. ANBU must be getting frustrated. The cell door opened. The light from the hall turned the figure of Anko into silhouette.
"Come out," came the order. "You're getting upgraded."
Under her own power, Shichi exited the cell and followed Anko down the hall. She suspected the regularly placed supports gave convenient shadows to ANBU guards. Not knowing her way out of the building, she followed without protest, but counted doorways and turns.
The two women approached an opened room after turning down several halls and descending several stairs. The room was not grandiose, but it did have a bathtub filled with warm water, steam rising from its surface. There was a bed, a white yukata draped over it and a plush rug at its end. A large, overstuffed chair was also present. The walls were covered with curtains. It was a room designed to comfort and lull one into a sense of false security.
Shichi was reminded of her bedroom back at the lab.
"I'm not leaving this room until you take a bath and put something on," declared her escort.
It was not logical to engage in a physical altercation over a bath. Shichi got into the tub and began to scrub herself clean, being careful of her wounds. She continued to hold herself ready, taking in her surroundings, this was still a tactic to get her to cooperate and give up information. When she finished, she accepted the offered towel and dried off. Dressing herself in the yukata, the assassin was careful to hide the growing pain and muscle tremors in her forearm.
"Well, you do clean up nice," Anko nodded to herself in satisfaction. "Also, you won't make any more of us nauseous with your smell."
Ignoring the comments, the prisoner walked the perimeter of the room. She confirmed her suspicions that the curtains covered the standard concrete cell walls. The door appeared to be the same as her other cell, 3 hinges with 3 bolts opposite. Consciously putting a sway in her step, Shichi sauntered up to Anko from behind.
The interrogator stiffened at her approach.
Noting the reaction, the assassin changed her direction and walked over to the chair to stand behind it. She watched as Anko came to some internal decision.
The ANBU approached her cautiously, with a careful smile on her face. It was almost as if she were approaching an injured animal.
Shichi stood her ground. Backing up would be seen as territorial victory.
Anko stood opposite the prisoner behind the chair. Slowly, she reached out and brushed the back of her hand along a cheek.
The reaction was immediate. Shichi called up what reserves she could of her training and the rapidly dwindling drug effects, but held herself back from doing anything...permanent.
Anko cried out for backup after finding herself pinned to the wall with one of her own kunai to her throat, a trickle of blood running down, and Shichi not pressing the advantage.
ANBU arrived almost instantly.
Three violently removed Shichi from their superior and stood guard while the others backed out slowly with the slightly injured and very surprised Anko.
Shichi found herself struggling to contain her reaction to being touched by Anko until the last of the ANBU left the cell and locked her in for the rest of the night. After she was sure the footsteps had faded, she placed her hand on the cheek that had been touched.
It had been a foreign sensation. No one had touched her like that before. It was so intense that it still blurred the pain from the rough handling of her fractured forearm. Seizing the opportunity, she checked its alignment, but then she placed her left hand over her cheek again and closed her eyes to try and imprint that sensation in her mind.
It had been...acceptable.
Clenching her fist in reprimand, she swiftly removed her hand from her cheek. It could no longer be helped. The enemy saw how to get her to react, and she did not know if her withdrawal would be sped up by her actions either.
"You can have her," declared Anko. "Thought I was in her head, but she played me."
The head of T & I noted the look of ever increasing frustration on Anko's face while she held gauze to her neck. "Get that looked at."
"She got my kunai...the speed..." Pulling away the gauze to inspect the blood, his second wrinkled her nose in disgust. "She isn't exactly like Root. She did this to me for touching her when I thought she mighta swung towards women."
Ibiki gave a slight smirk.
Anko looked up sharply. "Oh shut it! I barely touched her." She huffed and stood to leave. "I'd like to see you try and charm her. It'd be like one iceberg trying to mate with another!"
After her departure he couldn't help it. He gave a small chuckle at Anko's discomfort. She seemed to be on to something though. It seemed Shichi was not comfortable with physical touch.
He would have to use that.
Authoress Post-ramble: For the record, I have nothing against Anko! Gotta give kudos to the girl that can keep up with the men! She was a handy plot device though. Had to create a transition somehow. Comments? Critiques? Questions? Leave me a review. Although I reserve the right to answer questions with "be patient, all will be revealed in future chapters" just to be evil!