I have no plan. I have no schedule. I'm not even sure at what point I'll get bored and tie it off. Chapters will be short with the majority 800-900 words, the whole thing in unlikely to ever hit 10,000 total and very very shortly I will have no time to write anything for this. Read at your own risk.

Rights and stuff for characters to Silver Queen and Kishimoto. Check out Dreaming of Sunshine if you haven't already. It'll be worth it.

Edit 23/3/16: So… It's going to be more than 10,000 if only because I have 9 chapters of about 1000 words and I guestimate that I'm half way there. The rest still applies though.


Sasuke stood panting over his fallen brother. His shoulder ached from where the curse seal had activated and been subsequently destroyed. Cuts and bruises littered his body, none of them overly serious but they stung as his sweat dripped over them. At his feet, Itachi, still crying tears of blood, let out a wet sounding cough. Sasuke felt his lips curl in a grim smile of satisfaction. His old nightmare was going to be over soon. No more worrying that his powerful brother would sweep in and slaughter his new family. No more fear that there would be a day he would turn around and his team would be gone, that he would be alone again. No more looking at Shikako and seeing her unconscious and screaming in the street after she took his brother's attack for him. No more knowing that Naruto was hunted by the same man who had already stolen everything from him once...

Naruto and Shikako walked slowly towards him, their familiar chakra brushing against his own. Kakashi too, was nearby, but he kept his distance focusing on the perimeter. He wouldn't let anyone interrupt him – them - now. He understood. Team Ten would keep their distance too. Sasuke didn't know what Shikako had said to her twin to ensure that, but they'd agreed. This... This was for his family to deal with. This was for his team.

"It's over, Itachi."

He clenched his fist. The hilt of his sword dug into his grip, grounding him. Finally... Finally...

Shikako ducked around him, slapped a knock out tag on his head and then ran green hands over his brother's body. Naruto let out a choked sound next to him. She was... What? Healing him?! The traitor?! Why?!

"Shikako? What are you doing?"

"Trust me, Sasuke. It's best if we bring him back alive."

He gritted his teeth. "It's Itachi!"

She glanced at him, barely taking her attention of her pati- him. Naruto made an aborted move with his left hand, before backing away and putting his hands up. Sasuke sent him a nasty glare before focusing on his teammate. Shikako was an intelligent kunoichi perfectly capable of guilt-free killing. She wasn't Naruto - the dobe - that tried to 'save' everyone. She had a reason for everything she did. But. What reason could possibly be good enough for pulling this stunt?! Why would she want to save the person who had put her in a coma for over a month? Who still featured in her nightmares?!

"Shikako. What. The. Hell?!"

She sighed. "I have a reason. A really good reason. You... You can't kill him. Not until I've told you. I... He wants to die. At your hand. You've defeated him, you've proven that your stronger. If we bring him back to T&I they can keep him alive as they pull every tiny secret about Akatuski from him. Then he'll die, not testing his limits in combat like he wanted. He'll die in a cell, put down like... Like..."

Sasuke could see her eyes pleading at him. Begging him to trust her, that this was the best option - the right option. He barely listened to her words, but he got the gist of it. After everything, why give Itachi what he wanted? Why give him the death he'd worked for?

"If he escapes..."

"He won't."

Sasuke closed his eyes and took a deep breath. Then he let the sword slip out of his hand and stepped backwards.

"Sasuke, don't tell Team 10."

He nodded sharply and stalked away to find Kakashi. Shikako knew, she knew what this meant to him. His team understood. She wouldn't have said anything without a damn good reason for it. He would trust that her reasoning was good enough. And if it wasn't? She was right about giving him over to T&I. Itachi had taken everything away from him, had threatened to take what he'd found for himself since. Taking away the death Itachi had plotted for himself... It was a start.

Kakashi appeared slightly behind him, customary book in hand. "We're taking him back?"

"Shikako has something to tell me. We're not telling Team 10."

"Hmm." Kakashi flipped a page over in his book, but Sasuke knew he wasn't reading it. He could feel his sensei's stare boring into his back. "What do you think?"

"I trust my teammate."


Behind them, Itachi's chakra vanished. Tucked away for transport in whatever manner Shikako deemed appropriate. Then there was a croak and two bursts of smoke in quick succession. Naruto. Itachi would be kept by the toads? Better than them lugging him around. "I'll tell Shikamaru."

Kakashi nodded, but stayed with him, their steps falling into sync. Sasuke was glad. His goal, his aim since he was a child was fulfilled. Well, nearly. He wondered what it would have been like if things were different. If he didn't have his team. If he had reached this point alone, with nothing else left. How empty of purpose would he have felt? What would he have done now?