Author: rawrchelle PM
Itachi/Ino. Beauty was a very broad concept, she soon came to realize. Especially when Uchiha Itachi was included in the picture. She could cry forever over the things that she would do for it. For signalbox.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Angst - Itachi U. & Ino Y. - Words: 1,565 - Reviews: 24 - Favs: 36 - Published: 06-03-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5110470
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Title: Shallow Depths
Pairing: Uchiha Itachi and Yamanaka Ino
Summary: Beauty was a very broad concept, she soon came to realize. Especially when Uchiha Itachi was included in the picture. She could cry forever over the things that she would do for it.
Prompt: mind games
Word Count: 1288
Warning: Man, that sucked. It just took a turn for the worst (i.e. angst) near the end.
A request for signalbox. :) If you're interested in making a request also, the information is on my page.
She only had one word to describe him: beautiful.
While on a reconnaissance mission with Chouji and Shikamaru, she ran into him. He was clad in traditional shinobi wear; shin-length pants, black sandals, a black mesh shirt and a holster strapped to his thigh. His hitai-ate was nowhere to be seen.
When she looked at him, all thoughts were wiped away and she could only think that one word. Beautiful.
It was a beauty that she could never match up to.
When she told Shikamaru and Chouji about that breathtaking, mysterious man that night, they looked at her skeptically.
"Beauty is only skin-deep," Chouji reminded her, but she only smiled dreamily.
She believed that for him, he was beautiful through and through.
She searched high and low for him. Of course, being a kunoichi—and being her—she eventually found him.
"Hi!" she said, breathless when she slid into the seat beside him at the bar. "Mind if I join you?" She knew her appearances weren't up to his caliber, but she was sure that when they were together, they would make the most stunning combination.
He casted her a side glance—dark hair tied in a loose ponytail, lines of exhaustion under his eyes—before nodding once. "Hn."
He was gorgeous. Perfect. And she wished he belonged to her.
The alcohol made her buzzed, and the room blurry, but she could still hear and smell and taste and feel every bit of him. The way his hands grabbed her hair, the way his tongue pressed against her skin—it truly made her feel beautiful inside and out.
They were stunning. They were perfect. He belonged to her.
Chouji was wrong. Beauty was never skin-deep.
It was much deeper.
They returned to Konoha the next day. She never saw him again.
Two months later, Chouji asked about that flawless man. Her eyes grew watery, and she snapped at him.
He never said another word about it.
The next time she saw him—which was on the battlefield—she barely recognized him.
Clad in black and red, forehead covered with the scratched-out hitai-ate, he looked like a monster. A beautiful monster, perhaps—but still a monster. When their gazes met, she didn't see any of the restrained desire in his eyes like that night. She didn't see anything she wanted to see. Just red, blood, and death.
And suddenly, she wanted to cry so badly.
He would've stabbed her straight through the heart if Shikamaru hadn't pulled her away in time. Her knees felt weak, the kunai in her grip useless. Her bottom lip quivered as she slumped against her teammate's body.
At this point, she didn't know what the meaning of beauty was anymore.
"What," she hissed, trying hard not to falter, "are you doing to me?"
"The question is," he responded smoothly while tilting his head to the side, "what are you doing to yourself?"
"I'm not one for mind games, Uchiha." With every passing moment, she was closer to breaking. Submitting to this perfect monster, and letting him have her, because he was much too big and mighty to ever belong to her.
"I never said I was playing mind games with you."
She struggled to keep her dignity. "You don't have to say it to do it."
Just barely, his lips pulled into a faint smirk. "Ah. Smart girl."
She couldn't do it.
Not for Konoha, not for Shikamaru, not for Chouji, not for Sakura—not even for herself. She couldn't do it. The kunai slipped from her grasp, and fell to the grassy ground.
He was just too beautiful.
"You're a very pretty girl," he mused, his fingers tracing her jaw line. "Did you know that?"
She couldn't move, couldn't speak, couldn't feel. She could only see, and stand in awe. With every movement—the breeze blowing lightly at the free strands of hair, a blink of his eyes, an inhalation of breath—she felt smaller and smaller. Uglier and uglier.
"I used to," she barely managed to breathe in response.
When he kissed her, she felt revolting, vile, but alive.
Where was the beauty in her?
"Hey, Chouji, Shikamaru," she said miserably one day at their weekly Team Ten BBQ lunches. "What do you guys think of beauty?"
Shikamaru gave a noncommittal shrug. "Useless," he told her. "Troublesome."
She noticed Chouji raising his eyebrows. Guilt twisted in her stomach—because she wasn't sure if he was right anymore—she wasn't sure of anything anymore. "I guess it depends on how you see beauty. If it's an appearance thing, then it doesn't matter much…right?"
"Only skin-deep." She nodded in agreement, tired. "But what about the beauty under that?"
Her friend thought for a moment. What he said would be engraved in her mind forever:
"Leave me alone," she said—begged, almost. "Please."
The smirk on his lips was infallible. "And why on earth would I do that?" he asked, tone lilting. She felt tears prickling at her eyes, but vowed to herself that he wouldn't see her cry.
"Because…" How did this man make her feel so weak? "Because I'm not meant for this. Go—go find someone else's mind to mess with. There are a bunch of hookers just waiting for that to happen, right?" For the first time in her life, she wished she didn't look the way she did.
"But those are just girls," the lethal shinobi whispered in her ear, lips grazing her skin. "You're different from them."
That night, she took him home.
She woke up the next morning to the screams of pain of her friends, and Konoha being torn apart.
The thing she hated was that she thought he still looked beautiful, in some sick, morbid way, with a dark streak of blood across his pale cheek.
She felt stupid. She felt betrayed. She felt…hideous.
While being betrayed, she had also betrayed others. She had thrown them away for a man she knew was dangerous—thrown away her friends of a lifetime for someone she just thought was beautiful.
Chouji's lifeless body falling to the ground with a dull thump was like having a bucket of ice-cold water dumped over her head.
Beauty didn't mean everything. Beauty didn't mean anything.
Beauty was only skin-deep.
Yamanaka Ino hated a lot of things.
First and foremost, she hated Uchiha Itachi, and the way he messed with everyone. He messed with Sasuke, he messed with Naruto, and he messed with her. She hated the way he manipulated everyone to his liking. She hated the way she still thought of him, and their first night together. She hated everything about him.
Secondly, she hated how Shikamaru went and ate a bag of BBQ chips in front of Chouji's grave at least once a week. She hated the guilt that gnawed away at her all the time.
She hated how she couldn't hold a conversation with Sakura without it being tense and awkward. She hated how she was demoted back to a genin, and put on probation for two years. She hated how she couldn't look in the mirror without turning away in shame and disgust.
But the thing she hated most was that she wasn't beautiful anymore. Not at all.
In fact, she wondered if she ever was.
Is beauty really only skin-deep? Is what our interpretation of beauty really beauty? Is what's underneath—the personality—really what's important? Isn't it, like Itachi, just another thing we mold according to our surroundings? We can act any way we want. What's underneath is just another mask.
Think about it, and tell me.
A/N: I want time to just sit down, read, watch anime, and write fanfiction and music without a care in the world. Just for one day.
This was an interesting pairing. In the back of my mind, I've always wanted to try it, 'cause I read this one passage somewhere on dA once:
Ino: Do you like girls with long hair, or short hair?
Ino: Why's that?
Itachi: So I don't look stupid, with hair longer than my girlfriend's.
In a way, that last part was rhetorical. I don't know the answer—I just kind of want to hear your opinions. It's like English class—everything is a metaphor, whether the author intended it or not. What metaphors and symbols can you pull from this?