Summary: Older!Sasuke x Fem!Itachi. Twin brother and sister Sasuke and Itachi change everything, including what others believe to be the laws of reality itself. They'll teach everyone the one rule that matters: there is no reality, only perception. What one perceives is their reality, and for an Uchiha, what one perceives is so easily broken and bent it might as well be nonexistent. Nearly complete AU of the Narutoverse. Incest fic.

The Colors of Darkness

Madness I

Madness is like the sun when it comes to our lineage. It always finds us, no matter how far we run. We're going to change that.

Uchiha Mikoto hummed in content as she made tea for the two people she loved most in the world. Currently, those two were sitting at the dining room table, their noses buried in books they had checked out from the library. Turning, the Uchiha matriarch smiled at her children.

Uchiha Itachi, her beautiful, quiet but brilliant daughter kicked her feet back and forth slowly as she read Kirigakure no Sato – The Beauty of the Tides. A quaint piece of literature by a Mizu no Kuni historian on the once beautiful village of the mist. Her midnight black hair fell to her shoulders, matching the color of her incredibly insightful eyes, which never left her books except to play with her brother.

Said brother, Uchiha Sasuke, her younger twin by five minutes, sat next to her, reading Afloat the Winds: Dunes of Kaze no Kuni. His eyes drank in the knowledge of the recordings of the Land of Wind's many sand dunes, his onyx eyes darting up and down the pages of the book he had started earlier that day. Sasuke's hair was the same length as his sister's, but there was a spiky nature to it, where Itachi's was straight, like her mother's.

As a mother, Mikoto couldn't help but feel proud of her children's insatiable thirst for knowledge. When Sasuke and Itachi weren't out playing, which was probably their code for training, they were reading, learning, and observing. She had been worried that her children were unhealthily introverted, that their reticent dispositions would cause them problems with socializing and the inevitable team-building comradery that came with the rank of a Konoha shinobi. And while the two had only a handful of friends among the two of them– none of which had ever come to the house besides Shisui-chan – they weren't completely alienated by their peers. They could work together with others just fine if the situation demanded it, but they definitely preferred the company of just the two of them. The raven-haired woman was their mother, and she couldn't remember the last time they weren't together. If it weren't for her and their father's insistence, they'd probably still be bathing together, seeing nothing at all wrong with it.

It was hard for them, Mikoto mused as she placed the cool iced-tea on the table for her children, to get along with others their age. Itachi and Sasuke were… different. They were intelligent – far beyond the norm – and could comprehend much more than they let on. It was in their eyes, eyes that could already bleed red, a single tomoe of their clans prized Kekkei Genkai in each crimson orb, and only at the age of seven.

They could perceive things in ways that made even hers and her husband's heads spin. Their situational awareness was quite frankly scary, and they had an inherent, innate talent for the shinobi arts – all of them. Their academy progress reports showed some of the highest scores the shinobi academy had ever seen since its founding over seventy years ago. Genjutsu theory – 100, Ninjutsu theory – 100, Applied ninjutsu – 100, Applied taijutsu – 100, Classroom attitude/cooperation – 100, Mathematics – 100, History – 100, Strategic and tactical study – 100, this had been the grades they were shown every two weeks.

It had only been a year since Mikoto's children entered the academy, and they were already a week from graduating. Prodigies, the village was calling them, geniuses among the elite. Fugaku had never been more proud of anything in his entire life, and he loved her even more for giving him children with such irrefutable talents.

Again, as a mother, Mikoto was happy that her babies did so well, what mother wouldn't be? But… even now, as she sat in the chair across from them, her chin delicately placed on her upturned palm, her charcoal eyes gazing at Itachi and Sasuke, she couldn't help but wonder… that maybe… just maybe…

"Kaa-san?" Sasuke suddenly asked, feeling his mother's eyes on him. He looked at her with deceptively innocent eyes, big and round and full of faux childish ignorance. But Mikoto, even with her perceptive and analytical mind, could not see through the boy's façade.

"It's nothing, Sasuke-chan." She assured her son, a small smile playing on her lips. "I just enjoy watching my two lovely children." No, the matriarch of the greatest clan ever cleared her mind of strange thoughts. Her children were just children – incredibly talented and brilliant children – but just children. They couldn't possibly see that much, no matter what eyes they looked through.

Itachi smiled back at her mother, a soft, demure expression that summed the seven year old prodigy up with one look. "Kaa-san, will you and tou-san be coming to our graduation next week?" the soft-spoken girl asked. And while her mother took the innocent enough question as nothing but idle curiosity, a spark of understanding flickered in Sasuke's black orbs.

As Mikoto slightly turned her head more to the left to give her reply to her daughter, Sasuke gave a faint, unobtrusive nod, acknowledging the reason Itachi had started the seemingly random tangent.

"I talked to your father about it last night." Their mother smiled at them in the way they always liked. "He assured me that we will be there. He doesn't want to miss one of the most important moments in his children's lives."

Sasuke and Itachi returned their mother's smile, the woman never noticing how she had just been played expertly and flawlessly. Both brother and sister loved their mother – both parents, in fact – wholeheartedly, and would continue to love them even after they left the world of the living. But… some leaves were better left unturned. Their parents… they… they wouldn't understand. Ignorance was bliss, and once something was heard, it could not be unheard.

"Thank you for talking to him about it, kaa-san." Sasuke replied after a short pause. "It means a lot to us for you both to be there." That was the kami's honest truth. While they were… divergent by nature… Itachi and Sasuke still craved their parents' affection and recognition. They were seven, who could blame them?

"Mm," Itachi nodded her head in agreement. "Shisui-nii's auntie will be there too. We can all return to the compound together." She commented.

Mikoto chuckled softly at her children's excitement, and then favored them with a playful expression. "Maybe we could all go out to eat," she started, "if Kokoro-san is up for a celebratory dinner." Cute adoration filled the eyes of her children, giving Mikoto a sense of warmth in her breast that only a mother could ever know. "I could even ask your father if Shisui-chan can stay over."

Elated and eager, Sasuke and Itachi stood and rushed their mother, embracing the woman who brought them into the world at the same time. She had nurtured them; made sure they not only trained and read, but just played like normal children. There were more times than either of them could count that their mother had put a smile on their faces. She was what kept them away from growing up too fast, allowing them to feel like nothing but ordinary kids who had nothing to worry about… for a time, at least.

"I'm home." A deep, masculine voice rang out from the entrance of their humble home. Pulling back, the twins looked at their mother, who relented, letting go of them and nodding, a small smile still clinging to her supple lips.

"Go," Mikoto said gently, "greet your father."

With a lazy, deliberately sloppy salute, Sasuke and Itachi ran to the hall their father was making his way through, waiting for him at the end. With a smile, the heir and heiress of the Uchiha Clan greeted their father with the respect the man of the house deserved when he returned from a long day at work. And as the head of the Military Police, the day had indeed been a long, arduous one.

"Welcome home, tou-san." Sasuke and Itachi intoned in tandem, bowing to their father.

A smile ghosted his face for a moment, only lasting long enough for his son and daughter to notice it had actually been there, as Fugaku placed a single hand on each of their shoulders, sure that they'd received the message of his love for them.

"Welcome home, husband." Mikoto's enchanting voice spoke from where she had just exited the kitchen. Sasuke's ear unnoticeably twitched. Itachi's voice was slowly beginning to sound just as smooth and silky as their mother's. With the grace of a noblewoman, Mikoto captured both the hands and lips of her beloved, welcoming him like a wife should. It only lasted for a second, a chaste kiss exchanged between husband and wife, but it conveyed the love and passion they still held for each other.

"Have you told them yet?" Fugaku asked. His eyes fell on his children, and Mikoto understood.

Nodding, she began. "Hai, just now, before you arrived." She explained.

A miniscule smirk formed on the Uchiha patriarch's face. "I'm going to be at your graduation ceremony, you two." Their father stated. "I trust you'll make our clan proud?" It was less of a question and more of a statement, but it was said good-naturedly.

Sasuke mirrored his sister with his exuberant nod, his smile deceiving both his father and mother with scary ease.

"Of course, tou-san." Itachi assured him. "We won't let you down. Sasuke-chan and I promised to graduate early with Shisui-nii."

While Fugaku was happy that Kokoro's nephew was graduating early as well, an almost primitive side that Fugaku didn't know he had couldn't help but feel smug that both his children were graduating the academy at the age of seven, and Shisui – another obvious prodigy from the Uchiha Clan – was already nine.

"Come husband, I've already drawn a bath for you." Mikoto said smoothly, taking Fugaku by the arm and leading him to their washroom. "Finish your studies, you two." She called out before she and the man she loved disappeared down the hall, leaving Sasuke and Itachi alone.

Without a word or even a glance, the brother and sister turned and entered the kitchen, sitting in their previous seats, side-by-side each other. Without preamble, Itachi's lithe fingers found Sasuke's, interlacing almost intimately, and the two went back to reading their books.

As thin streaks of water slid down the glasses of tea their mother had previously made for them, brother and sister relished in being alone together. They preferred it that way.

| The Colors of Darkness |

The Second Shinobi World War was the second of three great wars involving the majority of the shinobi villages and countries. Not much is known about the political aspects involved in the beginning stages of the conflict, but there was known conflicts between Konohagakure, led by the Third Hokage, Sunagakure, led by the Third Kazekage, Amegakure, led by Hanzō of the Salamander, and Iwagakure, led by the Third Tsuchikage. The majority of the fighting took place in minor countries like Amegakure, leaving them devastated. The eventual outcome of the war favored Konoha so greatly that it was years before the start of the Third Shinobi World War (see: P. 150).

The First Shinobi World War ended with an armistice treaty, but also left the Five Great Shinobi Countries seriously wounded. The treaty led to a period of peace, but after twenty years, the economic disparity between the countries had become a serious problem. The nations began to form factions, and under the pretext of expending fair rights, the countries started using military force to expand their territories. Thus, a world war started.

As with all wars, the Second Shinobi World War brought forth many heroes and took even more lives. It was during this war that the legendary "Sannin" rose to fame and received their nickname from Hanzō during a skirmish with Amegakure. Tsunade in particular became famous as the world's greatest medical-nin while successfully countering all of Chiyo's – a rather prestigious kunoichi jōnin from Sunagakure – poisons. Her ideas and skills revolutionized shinobi squads to include medical-nin she trained personally, increasing mission success and survival rates; a system that remains in place in the present. She is thus cited as having made great contributions to Konoha's victory as well as the current system of all medical-nin.

The Sannin were not the only shinobi from Konohagakure to attain fame from this war. Hatake Sakumo, "Konoha's White Fang" became a name whispered in fear by Konoha's enemies. With his saber of white light, the White Fang of Konoha managed to do what entire four man cells could not, and he did so with relative ease.

Near the conclusion of the Second Shinobi World War, many nations learned of a country who wished to obliterate them all. Sora no Kuni used –

"We need to be more careful around them." Sasuke blinked his eyes, lifting them from the book he had borrowed from his father's study, and locking glances with his sister. "At least around kaa-san," Itachi continued, "she's starting to get curious, I can tell."

They lay next to each other, on their bellies, each with a book in front of them. They were released from the academy early, already having completed the exercises the class was going to take. They decided to spend the rest of the day at the one place they could be at peace in solitude together, the Naka River.

"Hn." Sasuke agreed, already having come to that conclusion earlier as well. "We diverted her from her musings yesterday, but if she continues to suspect us, our situation could get… complicated."

Itachi nodded, sighing as she gently placed her cheek on the white pages of her own book, something about the relationships between the various daimyō of the Elemental Nations. Their father's study had become an interesting well of knowledge for them for sure.

"Do you resent me?" Itachi suddenly asked of her twin brother, curious.

Sasuke didn't even blink before he gave her his response. "No." It was deliberate, and there was no room for misunderstanding, just the way they liked to speak to each other. "I resent the world we live in for making us lie and deceive our own parents, but not you. Never you." Her obsidian eyes suddenly bled red, single tomoe in each eye spinning, betraying her desire to hide her joy at the only person she truly trusted with everything's kind, reassuring words.

Sasuke smiled softly at his sister's response, her Sharingan expressing her true feelings. Without missing a heartbeat, her brother's onyx orbs turned crimson as well, his single tomoe per eye spinning, matching the pace of hers – pulling her into them like a beacon. Silence permeated all around them, the ravine in the distance echoing with the sound of the abundance of wild life all around them.

"We're all each other have…" Itachi whispered, breaking the silence with a breathless sentence. Something within her burned, threatening to overtake her, override her senses and make her do something they both wish they could, but knew they could not. A moment of labored breaths was exchanged between them, a hunger within their eyes that they desperately fought off. And then Sasuke pulled away, turning his head to the right, his eyes shutting tight, his face contorted into extreme concentration, and… pain?

"I… I'm sorry, nee-chan." He swallowed. His voice was uncharacteristically meek and soft. He knew she wasn't much better…

"So am I." She whispered back, the same strained tone as his had been.

It wasn't fair. It wasn't fair in the least, and Itachi found herself sharing the feelings of her brother. She resented the world. It was such a cruel, hurtful thing, she decided. To make two people siblings and have them… no, it was not fair at all.

"Sorry I'm late." Immediately, Sasuke's and Itachi's expressions schooled itself into perfectly stoic facades, before leaning on their elbows to look at the person the voice that had just interrupted them belonged to.

"Hello, Shisui-nii." Sasuke gave their only true friend a small, genuine smile. "We were just reading a little before you arrived. There's nothing to be sorry about." The slightly older boy nodded, accepting his cousin's words. Whether he noticed their sudden mood shifts or not was unclear, but nothing was said about it nonetheless.

"I have some information. It's about the team arrangements." Shisui began with a smirk playing at his lips, his cousins shortly mirroring him. "Hokage-sama seems to like the idea of an all Uchiha prodigy cell rather much. My aunt overheard the decision. It looks like we'll all be in the same team together." Shisui had sat in front of his lying cousins, their heads craning up to listen to him.

"Good." Itachi spoke, getting up to sit on her knees, her feet acting as a cushion. "It makes it easier for us all. Now we won't have to hold back during training, or create more lies." All three of them hated to deceive others, but in the cruel, madness-riddled world they lived in, an intricate web of lies and half-truths were almost a must to survive. "Any idea who our jōnin-sensei will be?" She wasn't expecting him to have that information, but it didn't hurt to ask.

Shisui shook his head, crossing his arms. "No." He replied. "Sorry."

"Don't be, you did more than I thought possible by attaining our teams arrangements." Shisui nodded. "We'll just have to be prepared for whoever it will be, and hope for the best."

"It'll probably be an Uchiha." Sasuke added his opinion. "An all Uchiha squad, full of new genin who the entire village hails as prodigies…" he shook his head, finally able to meet the eyes of Itachi's again, "no way it'll be an outsider." His conjecture had merit, even though they all disliked the idea.

"Assuming your assumption is correct, only a handful of Uchiha jōnin are registered to take genin teams. And of that handful, a few are either otherwise predisposed with previous obligations, or already have a genin team." Shisui thought out loud, smirking. "A rather small list, to be sure," he spoke in triumph. "A list we could use to our benefit should the need arise."

"It already has." Itachi stated. "Our mother is on that list, although her status is currently inactive." She played with the hem of her shirt. She didn't trust herself completely yet to meet Sasuke's eyes. He definitely recovered faster than she did. "And I have a feeling she'd be willing to reactivate herself for the grand delusion of training her own children being a fun idea and a good family bonding excuse."

"I take it that's not the case…" Shisui replied timidly, unsure of how she actually felt about that. It was unnervingly hard to read the emotions of both Itachi and Sasuke, and Shisui was unnervingly good at reading emotions, so it was saying something when he actually couldn't tell what was going through the twins' minds.

"Not even a little." Itachi said. "She's not incompetent, she's definitely earned her jōnin rank, she'd just try to coddle us, and even if she didn't, we wouldn't have an apt excuse if we still plan to excel in the shinobi ranks as fast as we wanted. The clan would discover our true potential too soon and try to use us for it's personal gain if we had an overzealous, proud mom as a sensei."

"Hn." Sasuke nodded, already thinking exactly the same. Shisui's eyes darted back and forth between his cousins, a small, knowing smirk on his face. These two were oddly similar, in both mind and technique.

"What will knowing if Mikoto-obasan is our sensei do? It's not like we can change it." Shisui commented.

"We could possibly convince our mother to step down before it became official. Some fanciful words about wanting to be independent would probably work. But that can only happen before the actual graduation. The moment we get out forehead protector, its official, and nothing we can do can change who our sensei is." Sasuke explained.

"So we definitely need to know who it is." Itachi began. "We've already drawn too much attention to ourselves. The clan is most likely already beginning to whisper about our future roles. We need to lie low, no more excelling too fast." Graduating at seven was probably not the best idea, but… Itachi took a sidelong glance at her brother… they needed to be alone, enjoying just each other's presence. They couldn't explore what lay past the clear boundaries drawn by society, but they could at least have this.

Shisui sighed. "But why three years?" he asked. "We could make chūnin in a couple of months. Why do we have to wait so long?" He already knew the answer, but he definitely did not like it.

"You know why." Sasuke said. "I don't know why we're not bound by our clan's hatred, but we all know the rest of the Uchiha are. They're drowning in the darkness they helped create, and if we want to pull them out – bathe our family in the light again – we'll need to establish a foothold in the village." Shisui was considered a genius, even among the inherently brilliant Uchiha Clan, but even he found it hard to follow Sasuke and Itachi. They… saw the world differently. They could predict the future with near clairvoyance. It was a little scary at times. "We won't be able to do any of that if the clan forces us into positions we cannot decline yet due to rank, social or otherwise."

"In short, until we join ANBU, we'll be under the thumb of the clan, subject to any and all decisions they deem "beneficial" or "necessary" to the prosperity of our people." Itachi summarized Sasuke's explanation so their cousin could understand it better.

"But don't we want our people to prosper?" Shisui asked, genuinely curious.

"The answer to that question isn't as simple as we wish it was." Sasuke replied.

Seeing Shisui narrow his eyes in confusion, Itachi spoke wisdom far beyond her years. "Which do you see as your people, Shisui?" she asked. "The Uchiha or Konoha?" her eyes observed him with great detail, watching as his brow scrunched up as he actually thought over the question.

"Is there a difference?" He asked after being unable to give a straight answer.

"Unfortunately, yes, there is." Sasuke started. "The Uchiha see themselves as superior, in mostly everything. We don't have any friends in the other noble houses of Konoha, and the civilian population already resents us since we run the Military Police." The boy sighed, crossing his arms across his chest. "We're at an impasse, Shisui-nii. The Uchiha are unyielding, an unmovable object, we always have been. And Konoha has always been an unstoppable, unrelenting force since its founding…"

"And you think the unstoppable force is going to meet with the unmovable object…" Shisui muttered, slowly beginning to connect the dots. He saw his cousin's nod, and he suddenly felt nervous. "And… what… you think we can do something to stop it?"

Itachi shook her head. "Maybe not stop it, but divert it." she answered. "We're not sure how yet, but we'll need to be able to focus and concentrate while we have the time. And we can't do that if we're the clan's lapdogs." The girl pointed at the Hokage Monument, her finger leading straight the Yondaime's head. "We need to establish trust with the Hokage. He's the only one that can truly help us with our cause. And if we enter ANBU, we'll have unrestricted access to him."

There was a brief silence where Sasuke and Itachi just watched Shisui think. After the moment past, Shisui asked an important question. "Why now? Why do you believe a conflict with the Uchiha and Konoha is suddenly going to transpire? If my aunt isn't mistaken, the Uchiha have always been viewed a bit warily. Why the sudden spike in hostility?"

"The Kyūbi." Sasuke said. His blunt declaration confused the slightly older boy. To elaborate, both Itachi and her brother simultaneously activated their Sharingan, an action that caused Shisui to gulp slightly. "What is the one thing that can subjugate a bijū?"

Shisui's eyes widened, his own single-tomoed dōjutsu emerging. "But the Yondaime would know, right? If he suspected the Uchiha of the Kyūbi assault, wouldn't he have already dealt with us?" His hands shook at the sudden revelation. "Unless he's waiting us out…"

"Precisely." Itachi nodded. "The Yondaime may or may not suspect us for that entire incident, but that's the least of our worthies. The Yondaime's trust is crucial, but the threat lies at the feet of another monster entirely."

Shisui's face was twisted in askance, so Sasuke began. "Like you said, the village already has a strained relationship with the Uchiha. The added suspicion has deepened that wariness, and our clan feels disconcerted and slighted for something they had nothing to do with."

"Are you sure we didn't have anything to do with it, though?" Shisui interrupted. "I mean, how can we really know?"

"Too risky." Itachi answered. "Our father was head already at that time; he'd never do something so stupid and unsafe. Plus, all of the Uchiha were in the village during the incident. If something like a concentrated Bijū attack was going to transpire, the compound would have been secretly evacuated, ensuring the safety of the next generation," she gestured to herself and Sasuke, "us."

Shisui nodded, seemingly accepting that explanation.

"And even though it's sound to us, the untrusting ties of the clan run deep within the village history, reaching as far back as Uchiha Madara, one of the founders of Konoha." Sasuke continued. "This has led to increased hostility on both fronts. The Uchiha are pissed, and the rest of the village trusts them about as much as the Tsuchikage trusts Hokage-sama."

The genius of Shisui began to show its head. "Conflict is inevitable. With both sides instigating the point, the straw that breaks the camel's back will soon be upon us, and it'll have severe repercussions." He sucked in his breath through his teeth. "It could lead to civil war…" then his crimson eyes blinked, a shudder running down the length of his spine. "It could spark another World War…"

"Unless we figure a way to divert all the hostility and mistrust away from the Uchiha, then yes, war is nigh." Itachi agreed. "Thus the execution of our plans must be flawless. No mistakes can occur, absolutely none at all." She gave Shisui an austere look through spinning crimson eyes. "We absolutely need our sensei to be not of our immediate family, preferably even a non-Uchiha."

Shisui's eyes hardened; a determined fire within bloody-red orbs exploding into life, encasing the nine year old in an aura of absolute resolution – Shisui was serious now. Itachi and Sasuke smirked, already knowing that the seemingly impossible – for genin – task of gathering information only the Hokage and a small amount of academy instructors possessed was as good as done. When Shisui got serious, this serious, not even Sasuke and Itachi could stop him, not unless they actually tried to kill him, and even then, they couldn't be one hundred percent positive they'd succeed in stopping their cousin.

"It's done." Shisui nodded. "I'll have the intel as soon as possible." His eyes then fell on his cousins close proximity. They were too close. He then dropped the thoughts completely. It was irrelevant.

"We'll be collecting data on the Sharingan." Sasuke stated. "We'll need to know all its secrets if we're going to go through with this."

While Shisui nodded, accepting the tasks his cousins had set for themselves, Itachi began. "Our training regimen has just tripled. We'll meet here after mandatory training with our sensei is finished. We need to both refine the basics, and work on advanced chakra control and elemental transformation and manipulation." Both Shisui and Sasuke nodded, agreeing with Itachi's statement. "Sasuke and I already know our primary and secondary affinities. Tou-san tested them when we entered the academy." Leave it to their utilitarian favoring father to gift chakra sensitive paper for a birthday present. "Have you tested your secondary?"

Shisui nodded. "Suiton," he stated, causing Itachi to smirk. "My secondary affinity is water." No one even had to ask what his primary affinity was. All three of them were Uchiha, it was a given. They were all natural fire breathers.

"That makes it easier to sneak the scrolls out from our father's study. My secondary is also water, so we can learn Suiton transformation together, while Sasuke works on Raiton." Itachi informed him. "Since we've all mastered the Katon: Gōkakyū no Jutsu, we can begin to explore other Katon techniques as well."

Smiles of consent lit up the soon-to-be genin's faces.

"Okay then, now that's all settled and finished, are we finally going to get down to the reason we all decided to meet up here?" Shisui suddenly asked with challenging glee, his muscles already flexing in a manner that promoted immediate response.

Crimson eyes met with crimson eyes, and without preamble, the three Uchiha prodigies flew into action, the three-way free-for-all happening at speeds that even seasoned genin shouldn't possess, Katon igniting the damp earth of the Naka River, what plant-life existed going up in white-hot blazes of flame.

Hot. Everything suddenly became hot. Idly, in the back of Shisui's mind, he sighed. This was going to turn out like it always did. Sasuke and Itachi would join forces, easily overwhelming him, and then finally allowing themselves the spar they enjoyed the most. He was a genius, a prodigy even, but Uchiha Shisui knew that his cousins, that Uchiha Itachi and Uchiha Sasuke were a different kind of shinobi than him. They were in a class all by themselves, even as yet to graduate academy students.

| The Colors of Darkness |

The sun, going through the never ending cycle of pure balance with the moon, setting on the horizon, bathed the sky in a cacophony of vibrant reds, water blues, and stunning yellow and bold orange – a picture truly worth a thousand words. And with the Sharingan activated, single tomoe spinning slowly, absolutely bewildered Sasuke and Itachi from their position atop the Hokage Monument.

The village began to calm, slowly but surely – like it always did – and a warm, almost familial feeling washed over Konohagakure on Sato. The peaceful silence that crept over the land that sat within the previous Hokage's gaze was most welcomed. The stone men watched over the land within their sight diligently, giving the people of the Leaf a sensation of safety. The brother and sister atop their heads had nothing but reverence and admiration for the past Hokage, striving to do for their clan what they did with Konoha. It wasn't an easy task, though.

With the sudden shift of both Sasuke's and Itachi's moods, some could call them capricious, but the near bipolar mood swings of the twins had nothing to do with themselves, and everything to do with their situation. From an outside point of view, they probably looked arrogant, contemptuous and maybe even a bit like separatists. Those people would be wrong, though, mistaking their isolation because of their dissatisfaction with the cruel, bitter world for some hubris concept that they were too far ahead in skill to be bothered with others.

No one knew the pain and sheer agony they went through on a daily basis. They were seven, yet they were forced to mature, forced to understand the reality of it all.

Itachi chuckled mirthlessly, a sneer on her normally calm and collected face. She hated that word, loathed it with a passion that burned brighter and more intense than the Sandaime Hokage's Will of Fire. Reality kept her clan shackled and bound to their hate and self-induced curse. Reality had shown her and her precious little brother war – and what happened in such a terrible, pointless action. Reality had shown Itachi and Sasuke the bloodied, broken, mutilated corpses that returned from the battlefield. They had been thoroughly disillusioned with the shinobi world when they had seen the horrors of war. And finally, reality had given her and her brother such a powerful love for each other, they couldn't determine where familial ended and intimate started.

The world, reality, had given her a passion, an addiction, and then told her that she was forbidden from biting into the delicious fruit that walked by her side every waking moment of every day, tempting her, taunting her with the cruel, sick joke.

And to make it worse, to make it cut so deep she wanted fall into the perpetual darkness of her clan and emerge a sickened monster just to take a chunk out of it just once before she died, reality gave the same feelings to her brother. That's what made it worse, that's what made every day since they understood – which had been at least a year – a living, walking hell. Her feelings, her immoral, "repulsive" feelings… they were reciprocated. Sasuke had admitted to feeling the exact same for her, with a passion that impossibly matched hers.

They loved each other. They loved each other like a man and woman loved each other, and they both knew it. But it was wrong. They were siblings, related by blood… twins… They couldn't act on their feelings, their seven year old, completely in love, feelings. And it was tearing them apart inside. A solitary glance with the emotions they truly held for one another – emotions they had seen their very parents shower each other with – would rip their hearts asunder, threatening the drive them crazy with madness.

They had to be careful, because if they weren't, if they even slipped up once, everything could change, and while revolution was the end game, their goal, they had to stay the same, had to stay exactly the way they were, if they wished for peace they understood existed before all the constant war and suffering. They couldn't risk the prosperity of humanity – which they vowed to bring – for their own desires, and the fact they fully comprehended this made them even more bitter towards it, towards reality.

Slowly, unsure, Itachi turned her head towards Sasuke with more trepidation than anyone – even her parents – had ever seen cling to the girl. Her heart beat in her chest she could feel the pounding in her head, her breath vanished. She was holding it, she realized.

Sasuke's crimson orbs met hers, and in a moment of forbidden selfishness – something that they had only ever relented and done twice before – Itachi's budding lips met Sasuke's for a fraction of a second, a small, unseen kiss between children who saw the colors of darkness that flooded their reality.

And as the final rays of sunlight vanished, gone to let the moon shine for its duration and the last of the beautiful wisps of color left the cloudy, now star-filled sky, Sasuke and Itachi vowed to accomplish their one selfish goal, their one personal desire that had nothing do with anyone but each other.

They swore to change reality, to change their world, to be together.

They promised to always love each other, even if they could never truly act on their feelings they harbored for one another.

Their names were Uchiha Itachi and Uchiha Sasuke, and they vowed to reshape reality into something different – to completely alter all perception.

| The Colors of Darkness |

A/N: This story idea was given to me by Dreaming of the Moon. Thank you, dear friend, for letting me run wild with your impressive imagination.

While I don't usually associate myself with incest, literature or otherwise, I nonetheless listened to my good friend when he told me he had a story idea that needed to be written. He, unfortunately, already has four ongoing stories, and couldn't take on another, but he also couldn't let this plot bunny die before it had time to flourish. And while I all but gave up on writing, after I really listened to his ideas for this "The Colors of Darkness" fic he had actually dreamt of (ironic, considering the guy's team and name), and I grew more and more fascinated with each word he spoke.

So now I'm back ready to try my hand at fanfiction… again. Please be gentle with me.

While the pairing is incestuous (Sasuke/Itachi), my story is going to lean on the burden their feelings for each other cause them. It will not be rushed, and it will not be used to satisfy some strange sexual fantasy I've had since I was old enough to know what "sex" was. This is how I feel a forbidden relation would be like. I apologize ahead of time if I do not do it justice. I've never experienced a "forbidden" or "taboo" love before, so it's very new to me.

Please review. I'm always up for good conversation, and constructive criticism is very important to me.

Yours truly,

Dreaming of the Sky