|Secrets of a Brother's Love
Author: Kakashiz PM
Itachi and Sasuke's final match rewritten, with painful truths revealed. Spoilers, character death.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Angst - Itachi U. & Sasuke U. - Words: 1,985 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 1 - Published: 12-25-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6590677
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Italics are memories. Just a rewrite of Sasuke and Itachi's final match, with some twists. Enjoy!
Thunder rumbled and storm clouds gathered ominously over the abandoned Uchiha stronghold. Stones and formations of rock littered the spot. The landscape was utterly lifeless, save for the occasional blade of wild grass and the two forms of soon-to-be opponents.
Cold winds howled through the graveyard, the cries of departed souls seemingly echoing through the barren land. Soon, another would join them. To one of the two brothers, the howls called for justice, for revenge, but the other could hear only sadness, woe that the younger descendant of the Uchiha clan would continue to live in a lie, never knowing the truth.
From across the battlefield, Itachi gazed into the eyes of his beloved brother. His Akatsuki cloak swayed with the wind, strands of his dark hair flying into his face. Sasuke's eyes were wild and filled with hate, his being utterly consumed by pain and loathing for the brother that had killed his family.
Almost as if reading each other's mind, the two brothers strode towards each other. Satisfaction rolled off the younger Uchiha. Finally, sweet revenge. This stone-hearted man, this monster that had robbed him of a family would finally die.
The Sharingan glowed blood red in his eyes as his gaze met Itachi's. A smile of triumph pulled at his lips, the cursed seal on his shoulder erupting and sending flame-like markings across his body. Powerful. He was powerful now. Gone was the weak child who could only look on helplessly. Now he had power to match that of his brother's.
One day you may defeat me…
"I have come to kill you, brother."
A heavy silence hung in the air between the two.
Sadness filled Itachi's face.
What have I done?
When he had challenged Sasuke to kill him, so many years ago, he had been filled with guilt. He had hoped that, one day, his younger brother would become a great ninja, and would become a hero by killing him. He had wanted to restore the honor of the Uchiha clan, and make Sasuke improve as well.
He wanted Sasuke to be great. But not like this. Not this cursed power from Orochimaru that ate away at him like fire. Itachi had wanted him to be a good, honorable ninja. By goading him and portraying himself as a villain, he had hoped that Sasuke would push himself to his limit to defeat him.
But his plan had backfired. In Sasuke's quest to gain power, he had turned his back on his village. He had turned to Orochimaru.
Itachi coughed as pain from his illness coursed through his body. It would not be long before his end. He was dying, and he wanted Sasuke to have the satisfaction of killing him.
Itachi activated his Sharingan. The black design in his eyes was fading, and Sasuke only looked like a messy blur.
"That's not going to work on me anymore, nii-san. I'm no longer as weak as I once was." Sasuke stared at him defiantly. "I have come to take revenge for those you have killed. Those were innocent people, who have done you no wrong. You killed them without a moment's hesitation."
Itachi shook his head sadly. "If only you knew, Sasuke, if only you knew…I never wanted this to happen…"
"Knew what? What else is there to know?" hissed the younger Uchiha, curious despite his suspicion.
"The truth," replied the Akatsuki member simply.
Sasuke's eyes widened.
"Why, why did you do this?"
A long lost memory flashed before his eyes, and once again, he saw his parents' dead bodies at the feet of his brother.
"I merely wanted to test my strength…" "If you want to kill me, hate me with all your might, and one day you may be able to defeat me…"
"I was ordered to wipe out the clan to avoid them overthrowing Konoha… and also as a price to prevent Madara attacking our village-"
No. He couldn't have been good. Itachi was a monster.
A jet of flame illuminated the gradually darkening surroundings. Sasuke's handsome features were marred with hate and pain as he attacked, doubt edging its way into his heart. Even though he told himself he hated this man for his entire life, deep down he still loved the brother he once had.
"Do you know why I left you alive?" asked Itachi, the tears that he refused to let out finding their way into his voice.
"Because you felt guilty!" bellowed Sasuke. "I hate you!"
"I cared for you, Sasuke. I couldn't make myself kill you."
"I joined Akatsuki to keep an eye on them. I made myself into a villain so that one day you would be able to regain honor on behalf of our clan. I waited for the day I would be able to go all out on you. And finally, that day has come."
Itachi gazed evenly at his younger brother. "Amaterasu!"
A wave of black flames engulfed Sasuke. The teenager uttered a cry of pain. Almost at the same instant, another jet of fire spewed out from another direction, and Itachi leapt aside at the last moment, his sleeve catching fire.
Dark smoke billowed out from the fire jutsu, flowing upwards to join the clouds.
Sasuke had become more like a snake than Itachi had imagined. His hatred for Orochimaru grew as he saw the shed skin of his brother crumpling to the ground. Why, why did Sasuke have to go to Orochimaru? He swore to himself that he would remove the snake from his beloved brother even if it meant death.
"Like your Amaterasu, nii-san, I also have a trump card. Kirin!"
The thunderclouds rumbled, and a brilliant flash of lightning flashed through the sky. With a deafening crash, electricity smashed into the battlefield. For a moment, everything went white.
As the lingering brightness faded, the large form of Itachi's Susanoo came into view. The ninja in question was panting heavily, his Akatsuki cloak burned off and various injuries on his face, despite the presence of the great being to shield him.
Violent pain assaulted him, and he cried out in agony, clutching at his head. It felt like someone was stabbing him repeatedly. His illness was worsening. His legs gave out beneath him, and he crumpled to the ground.
Sasuke stared at his brother in horror.
The bark of the tree felt rough beneath his fingers. Nii-san always made it look so easy. He grunted in effort as he hauled himself up. Just a little more and he would reach the very top.
At the last moment, however, he lost his footing, and the ground came up to meet him a little faster than he would have liked.
Pain stabbed through his leg, and he, being the little boy that he was, promptly burst into tears.
What is it, Sasuke?" The quiet voice of his brother came from behind him. Sasuke sniffed. "My leg hurts," he whimpered.
"I'll take you home." Itachi knelt down, and Sasuke scrambled onto his back, wrapping his arms around his neck. Itachi stood up and started walking.
The rest of the journey home was silent, but Sasuke felt comforted by his brother's presence. Nii-san was never one to talk much, anyway. He rested his head on Itachi's back. It felt so warm.
"Why do you care so much about me?"
"Because you're my brother, that's why."
Itachi's ragged gasps of pain tore at him.
Because you're my brother, that's why…
Should he believe his brother's words? The brother he loved that he had hated for almost his entire life? The brother that was always there for him, the brother that had killed his family? He felt torn in two.
No. He had come too far for that. He mentally braced himself for the final blow, the blow that would end his mission once and for all.
Itachi looked up at him, tears of blood running down his face.
With a surprised yell, Sasuke's body was thrown into violent spasms as Orochimaru took control of his body. The snake sannin was rather too strong-willed to miss an opportunity to take control while Sasuke was out of chakra.
A giant eight-headed snake appeared in the middle of the battlefield to face off Susanoo. However, it did not last long before Itachi cut off seven of its heads. Itachi's heart wrenched painfully with each stroke. He never wanted Sasuke like that. So desperate for power that he would sell his soul to the devil.
A soft, slimy sound came form the last head's mouth.
"Why, Itachi, I must thank you for pushing Sasuke so far." Orochimaru's silky voice came to Itachi's ears. He watched as the sannin emerged from the snake's mouth. "For setting me free."
Itachi gritted his teeth, and stabbed Orochimaru through the heart with Susanoo's Totsuka sword. The snake sannin's eyes widened in horror as he was sealed away, his mouth opening to utter a curse that never came.
With a puff of smoke, what remained of the snake vanished along with its master.
Sasuke crumpled to the ground, eyes wide and breath heavy as the cursed seal on his shoulder vanished. He felt totally drained. His chakra was gone after using such powerful techniques.
"I left you alive because of a reason. I left you alive…"
Sasuke's head snapped up, seeing his brother walking towards him. Terror gripped him at the sight of his invincible brother.
In the distance, Susanoo faded.
Itachi strode towards Sasuke. The older man raised an arm, and he flinched.
"Because I loved you."
His eyes grew wide. Time stood still as memories flooded Sasuke's mind unbidden for. Memories from a distant past…words from a brother he thought gone…
"Nii-san, I want you to do weapons practice with me."
"I am the wall you must climb over."
"You are not worth killing."
Not worth killing…
His brother's words echoed in his head.
"Forgive me, Sasuke…"
"Come here." Itachi beckoned to him. He stepped forward eagerly, only to be tapped on the forehead.
"Ouch! That hurts!"
"I'm sorry, Sasuke. Some other day."
"It ends with this."
All his life, Itachi had treated him with kind indifference, always affecting mild nonchalance in front of everybody including him. But little did he know that this small gesture of endearment, this little flick that he used to hate would soon mean so much to him. This insignificant touch had evolved into something more. Now, it had become the symbol of Itachi's love for him.
Itachi's fingers met his forehead.
Because I loved you…
Sasuke's eyes were wide and staring, unable to comprehend the mixture of love and sorrow surging through him. Could he have been wrong? Was his brother never meant to die?
Then Itachi fell, giving in to the sickness that he had endured by sheer willpower, finally satisfied in the belief that what he had set out to do was done.
Sasuke froze for what seemed like ages as regret and sorrow burned through him. There was no joy, no triumph as he had expected, but only a deep pain.
Trembling, he sank to his knees, and rested his head on Itachi's back.
The brother he loved was gone. Gone forever.
Itachi…you were a great brother. Too bad you had to die. My best regards. *moment of silence*
Well, I hoped you guys liked it, and please leave a review after reading! Thanks!