Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto. There's no use suing me. I just borrowed it.

Warnings: We've got four main characters here and a baby: two guys, two gals, and the baby boy. The other gal is OC and so is the baby. So be careful with identifying and don't get confused too much by the his, him, her, she, he, etc.

Important Note: Semi AU. Sasuke's clan was wiped off, but not because of Itachi. Oh, and Itachi has no Mangekyou here. The brothers still live in the Uchiha Mansion. With them as the remaining Uchihas, their brotherly ties got stronger through the years. Let's say their age gap is just seven years. Both Uchihas have their own love affairs to mind. Clear?

Authoress' Notes: One shot, once again, and a future fic this time. I'm stuck with Romance and Angst. But this one's more matured. I suppose there's gonna be a little description of lime around the end (or not). So a there's a possibility of OOCness with every character. But hey, this is a future fic, a semi AU, and more importantly, this is my fic; I'm in control. Flames are welcome.


A Promise Half-Kept
aPpLecHeRrY

He wanted to keep it. But his heart yearns for her.

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He entered her home, more likely, theirs. With a single glance, he scanned the house; it was empty. The only reason he came up with was because she was still out. With nothing else to do, he locked the door with a click and proceeded to their room to wait. He was used in waiting, especially times like this. Every night, or whenever he's pissed off or just felt the urge to see her, he leave his damned house.

He lied down the bed and relaxed, trying to clear off his mind when she arrives. She always scolds him like a kid whenever he's stressed out, though in her different way. And he was okay with it.

She has no idea he would be coming over at this hour for if she did, she would be rushing home to his side. She always know when something's wrong. Thinking she would take her time for that reason, he dozed off a bit.

Not long after, with natural instincts, he felt gentle movements around. She's already home and in the room, currently changing into her nightgown. Before she could finish buttoning up, he was already behind her with his arm perfectly fitted around her waist. As he slowly slid the strap of her nightgown off her right shoulder, she didn't show any sign of surprise. Thinking logically, she didn't bother to finish buttoning up for she knew he would undo it sooner or later.

His lips touched her bare shoulder with grace and started trailing soft kisses up to her neck. Though there was something bothering her, she didn't break away nor respond.

"You're early today," his actions came to a halt with her words. He was expecting this, really, but he didn't see it coming so soon.

The arm on her waist retreated as the essence of his warm breath on her nape dissipated. He turned away and made his way to the edge of the bed. By the means of his forelock concealing his dark orbs, he stated, "She's on it again."

His account made an inaudible sigh escape her. "You made a solemn promise to him." This peculiar topic was often brought up whenever they are having one of these serious conversations. She followed him suit and sat beside him.

"I know. And that's the start of my damned life." She tried to see through his concealed mournful eyes with those bitter words he spat out. She reached out for his hand and let his fingers intertwine with hers. Without making such unnecessary movements, she glided behind him with their hands never losing bond. There was nothing left for her to do but give him the console he loves and the love he needs. Her head rested on his broad shoulder. She knows his suffering more than anyone. Their clandestine relationship started a year and a half before he died, he: his sole brother. And with that death he blamed himself. He hid himself in the bleak world of guilt. He hid from the logical explanations, which he thinks as non-sense; he hid away from the confronting arms of everyone and drowned himself in pain and anguish.

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Flashback –The Goodbye, pt. 1

Eighteen frivolous months had passed and their relationship grew stronger, though unknown to the outside world. Everything went smooth. He was happy with it but she wants the world to know. Over some silly arguments, she finally convinced him to carry out her wish. Likewise fate would play, a two-man mission called in. He was in this mission and so was his brother.

She got the news, "I guess weeks of waiting wouldn't hurt much," she had said, "just be sure to come back home, ASAP." He raised an eyebrow. Although he knew what she meant, he wanted to hear the exact words to make the hefty ambiance light, also, to see her smile. "And that specifically means?" he smirked and she rolled her eyes in response. "Just be sure to come back home to me, as safe as possible…" she trailed off. But not wasting any much time, she took in a deep breath and continued with eyes shut, as fast as she could, "…so that I won't miss and worry about you so much that I'll flee Konohagakure without permission just to find you and drag your sorry little ass back!"

She leaped a meter away from his flabbergasted figure and paused for a second. She beamed him her sweet grin and teasingly asked, "Happy, Mr. Uchiha brat?" and went off like the swift, gentle breeze.

Finally overcoming her words, he went after his sweet wind. He swiftly caught her by the hand and pulled her close, her back to him. Their bodies collided as he wound his arms around her tenderly, not wanting to let go. Softly, he whispered in her ear, "Don't hide sadness with smiles, especially when I'm around."

She turned around to face him. Leaning in closer, gripping his clothes, holding him possessively, she let her unshed tears soak in his shirt. In between silent sobs in him, she managed to utter, "Come back safe, please. For me, for us." With those words he held her closer, savoring the rare, precious moments he would be treasuring forever.

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Those times, he only occasionally accepts S-rank group missions if she's with her (for according to her, he isn't allowed to accept if she isn't around). She was really surprised at the time he told her he accepted the two-man S-rank mission with his brother, and without her knowledge. They've been in a quarrel about that for some time, but she is a ninja. She is erudite with all the risks involved. And she finally acknowledged his decision.

For him, he knew he and his brother may not come back in one piece. Still, they accepted the said mission, for it contains the liable knowledge about their clan's mass murder. It was already hard for him, leaving his girl. But what about his older brother who's leaving his fiancée behind? They were set to marry the next few weeks, and then came the mission.

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Flashback –The Goodbye, pt. 2

On the other side of the forest was another ceremony of farewell taking place, this was the harder one.

"I-" he started. Her index finger gently touched his lips, ceasing his words. "I know, I know. I will wait." And crystalline tears helplessly leaked from her orbs. She closed her eyes and let her knees gave up as he caught her in an embrace. Time stood still and no words were needed.

He hated to see her like this, but he wanted to bid farewell properly. Somehow, he had the feeling something would happen but he kept his mouth shut. But then, though against her and somewhat, his will, he departed for the mission.

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Their topic brings back many bitter memories. Unwanted tears threatened to fill his eyes. His hold on her hand got tighter. He leaned his head a little, sideways, meeting hers and resting on them, "I never thought it would end up this way."

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Flashback –Brother

The brothers were so eager to finish the mission quick and come back home. And so they did. The mission was swiftly, perfectly done with fulfillment. Though they acquired some battle scars they would have forever, physically and emotionally, the familiarity that they'll be able to return home made it easier to admit to themselves the dawn of reality. But then again, fate isn't so nice to them. Their come back didn't quite go well.

Half way back home, darkness caught up. With their injuries and chakra deficiency, they were forced to camp out for the night. Though how eager the brothers may be to be home, jeopardizing their safety wouldn't do any good. Sitting around the fire, they had a worry-free brotherly talk.

"You what?" the younger said in aghast. The elder just told his brother the truth about him and her fiancée, Tanaki.

"Chill, otouto." With the reaction of the younger, his reply surprisingly came out cool.

"What would people think? Aniki, I should've knocked some sense in your thick skull earlier." The elder chuckled at this statement. "You sound like you're older and more matured than me." The younger flushed.

"Damn! Itachi, what the hell were you thinking when you left your already pregnant fiancée?" The younger just can't absorb all the information his brother just spilled.

Itachi just gave him a smirk. The truth be told, he was really proud of his brother. Though he did make a fuss about this matter, it's not about the indecency of the whole issue, but the affair of importance of the relationship of Tanaki to him. He knew his brother was conversant with these kinds of circumstances, and with that, he assumed his brother's responsibility.

The elder stood up to give his brother a whack on the head that caused him to crouch down. Itachi caught his neck with his arm and pulled his younger bro closer for a whisper. "Sasuke, it's not what the others think that matters. As long as those two persons have a deep understanding and affection, their lives will revolve in their own world, happy and simple."

He let go and looked in his brother's wide pools of black, "Got it?" Sasuke craned his neck sideward, avoiding his brother's gaze. "Yeah."

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"He loved her so much." Guilt filled his system. "If only…" She shut her eyes. That phrase. Whenever that phrase escaped his lips, she always knew what would come next: his fall.

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Flashback –The Promise

"Sasuke! Promise me you'll take care of Tanaki and our baby." Amidst the heated battle, he remained firm in his words.

"What the hell!"

"Damn it, just promise me!"

The clanging of metals and the panting of breaths were everywhere to be heard. It was an ambush. The brothers were fighting against 50 exceptional hunter nins with each other's back.

"Fine! You have my word." Sasuke knew Itachi was never the one to jest at these times.

Normally, this would be a piece of cake. However, with insufficient strength left from their previous battles, they can barely stand straight.

They've just been separated for scarcely seconds as the battle continues then the dreaded came. One was taken down, receiving the fatal hit that was intended for his brother. As the other sees this, rage overflowed his soul and reawakened his blood lust. And with a simple flash of light, all the remaining hunter nins were out. He rushed to his brother's side. With a little adrenaline left, he carried him into his back and started to make his way home as fast as he could. "We're near, don't you dare give up on me." Even though how harsh his words came out, he didn't seem to have succeeded hiding the wavering fear and sadness in it.

"Taichi. N-name my son, Taichi." He whispered in Sasuke's ear. Itachi was wavering. "I-I want him to carry our family name. I want them to carry our pride."

Sasuke tried hard to restrain fear from eating him. "O-of course, they'll carry our family name. Wh-When we arrive after w-we get out from the hospital, you'll marry her." A tinge of relief came when the gates of Konoha were seen. "Look, we're almost home. Save your energy, we'll be getting a lot of scolding when we arrive." After all, at least he tried to get some humor around.

"Sasuke…" Itachi knew he was fading. And he had readied for it. With just meters away from the gates, above a whisper he said, "Take care of them; as well as you and Sakura. Give them what I cannot. Keep your promise, otouto…"

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"No, no, NO!" She shook him. With trembling hands, she cupped his tear-stained visage and let him face her. Sakura closed the distance between them. "It's not your fault. You did what you can to fulfill the promise." Limpid tears flowed. He hated to see those tears, especially when he knows he had caused them to fall. Lifting a hand, he unconsciously wiped the mists in her eyes. She smiled, "You fulfilled his wish to your limit. You took care of his family. You took his responsibility in them. God, you married Tanaki for the family name! Can't you see?" He tried to speak, but she cut him up to it. "And look, Taichi is growing up so well. He's carrying his father's pride. Tanaki and Taichi are so grateful for it. They are not blaming you!" She's not done yet. "Don't feel guilty whenever you see her cry. There's nothing wrong about missing Itachi. You have done no wrong. He didn't ask you to love them like he did." She pursed her lips.

Finally, he spoke, "But you…" At his point, Sakura kept silent. "We… What about us?" She wanted to answer but her mouth kept her from lying. Sasuke released her and her hands fell on the side. "I can't have you if I continue to live with the promise!" Her lips curved into a bitter smile, "Remember, you also promised to take care of yourself and me." Gathering all her remaining will, she looked directly in his nostalgic pools of black. "I'm alright with this. I know you would only drown in remorse if you turned back on your words; and I don't want that. I'm contented when you're pleased and certain. That's why I'm here. And I'm thankful enough that you're still with me." She headed to where he stood. He let her arms enclose him with warmth as she leaned in his bare chest and whispered, "You'll always have me."

For the first time since his brother's death, he had smiled a genuine smile. He finally accepted the light she dawned and gave him, which he had remained ignored for the past years. Seizing her chin up he said, "And for that, I am forever thankful." With that, he captured her lips.

His kiss was fervid. Renewed passion flowed with every heated kiss. His hand crept to her neck, helping to put pressure and keeping the comfortable angle. Her hand went up and rummaged through his hair. His arm on her waist guided her back to the bed where he finished undoing her buttons and sliding out the straps of the restricting clothing. As his mouth left her lips, it started to slink down, leaving a trail of butterfly kisses on her neck. Not long after, forgotten clothes were left as they explore their way to pleasure under the sheets.

Another night was started and soon, would be done. Let the couple be. After all, this was all they could do. She would never carry his name and he would never have her legally. Do you honestly think they would remain happy? As long as the promise stands, and there were something between these two, it would forever remain half-kept.

Fin


Whoa. Did I just write that? I must be possessed.

So, how did it go? Great? Okay? Bad? Worst? Anyway, however complicated it may be, I hope my dear readers understood how the story goes. I admit, I had a very hard time reading, writing, and understanding this. Oh, and it is my first time in the matured world, hope you understand.

This is a one shot. No continuation. Okay? Thanks for your time! Merry Christmas people! See ya next year! Oh, and I really need a beta reader. If anybody is interested, check Announcements! on my profile. Thanks!

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Luvlots,
aPpLecHeRrY