What the crap. Planning to write this chapter before camp, but THEN I didn't write it before preseason, and I barely managed to do it before school started. So that idea died. Doesn't help that this was probably the hardest chapter to write. Because… it's the LAST. And I had trouble deciding what Itachi's reasoning actually was. God…

And I tried to edit the three earlier chapters… I don't think they're any clearer though.

This chapter is in the PRESENT. As in, the day that Itachi's execution is set, unlike the last chapter, and some of the second.

Sweet Promise

"Hinata."

The simple statement of her name easily broke her from her reveries. She glanced to her left as Itachi emerged from the treeline. His cloak was slightly dirtied and bloodied, but it gave him that same mysterious, elegant, and dangerous air.

"You're distracted. You should have noticed me approaching you." He calmly walked forward, stopping when he was several feet away from her.

"I was thinking," Hinata replied. "Of… the important things that happened." She crinkled her forehead in a frown. "You didn't keep your promise Itachi… why… I… I've been waiting for years…"

He didn't reply, not even a body movement to display some form of a response. He glanced upwards at the sky, observing how the trees shook in the distance from the wind. "I should not have to explain it to you," he said slowly after several moments.

"I will make you into something. I will break your illusion. And you will be real," she stated, quoting his past promise. Her voice was a little throaty as she was tying to restrain her emotions, compiled of frustration and desperation. "You said to 'see for myself'. But how can I when I'm blind?" she whispered.

"You merely need to look through the illusion," he said, still evasive as ever. "Your Hyuuga eyes can do so naturally."

"Itachi, please!" She unconsciously took a step or two closer, just barely remembering to not grab his cloak like her body had instinctively told her to do. "Please, I need to know. I just need you to tell me!"

He stared at her for a moment. Sharingan met Byakugan again. Each pair took in familiar facial features, recognizing and comparing them to memories, to find them an almost perfect match. Red and White. Two different colors, but not opposites.

"What is a promise, Hinata? Tell me."

"…I… it's a guarantee, that something will be done," Hinata said. She was a little hesitant, wondering what he meant by asking his question.

"Wrong. It's an illusion. An illusion of assurance," Itachi replied coldly. Her eyes widened in surprise, shock, horror, and betrayal. He continued on without emotion, staring at her white eyes. "Mankind thrives on lies. They drink them in plenty, and they spit more back out. It is an endless cycle that will never be stopped."

"No… no, you're wrong! You promised! I- I'm real! You made me into who I am, and-"

"I did not make you into anything, you're you, but what surrounds you is fake," he spat out, a little angered by her denial. "It's all illusions- sweet and sticky lies. I only helped you realize that illusions cannot change you."

"Is that why you killed your clan, because they 'lied' to you!" she questioned wildly, a little hysterical. "You played with me to teach me a lesson on lies! You- you-"

"Hinata."

She stumbled back a step, sitting down on the ground, tears leaking out of her wide, now unblinking eyes. "Sweet… lie? Promise? I can't tell anymore. What I've based my life on is now torn apart. A-And I can't turn to anyone anymore."

"Turn to yourself." He stared down at her a little while before turning to look the opposite way. "You are strong, and you are real."

She couldn't see his face, but looked down anyways, her hands palm down on the ground. Salt water slowly dripped onto, and was absorbed by Konoha dirt. "Did… did you feel anything!" she asked, "While you were with me- anything at all! Please, tell me if you did!"

Her mouth closed tightly, attempting to calm herself before she spoke again. "Or… was it all a game to you? Casting genjutsu to see if the Byakugan could detect it? Weaving your lies that you think mankind survives off?" Her tone was quieter, but she was still a ruined girl. A broken toy. "I… I wanted someone to see me for who I really was… and to-"

"You wanted support." He didn't move, a stony statue hiding an equally hard heart. "I could not and can not say I wanted the same. Besides, I do not remember. All I want now, more than anything… is probably you, Hinata."

Her heart jumped in her chest- a start of life back to the empty shell. "T-Then why…? Why did you turn away?"

He sighed, the sound reaching her ears, a gentle breath of air. "I'd rather have you broken by myself, than by another because of me." He took a couple of steps towards her- left right left. He reached out, making her look up by hooking his hand under her chin. He traced her face with the other hand; she was unresponding to his touch, too confused and manipulated to know how to react. He swiftly kissed her, slipping his tongue into her mouth, forcing her to return it with some passion. He broke away all too swiftly, for both of them, looking into her eyes.

Three paisleys merged to make a spiked wheel.

"There is no future for us. I'm sorry."

---

He had filled the red and black world with memories. Of him and her. Some real, most fabricated. All filled with sweet promises.

He could sense ANBU approaching quickly. They had finally targeted him down. He'd rather avoid the Konoha ninja, not wanting to bother with them. He didn't have many other things to waste his time on, but all the same.

Itachi sifted his fingers through her hair, inhaling her unique, memorable scent before laying her down on the ground gently.

No more.

---

"So that's what happened."

"Hai Godaime-sama." Her eyes weren't empty… they could be described as blank, or foggy, the purpose to hide her true feelings and emotions. She would not be broken… not in front of any one else, but him.

Her hands were lightly clasped in front of her body- she hadn't been tied up, but she had been removed of all her weapons. She had woken up here, still suffering from the after-effects of the Mangekyou, but had answered all the questions docily when asked. She sat in a chair opposite of the Hokage, deep inside the interrogation chambers. Morino Ibiki stood next to Tsunade, taking note of everything she said inside his head. A circle of ANBU surrounded the three of them, the dim candlelight flickering so that their animal masks held more shadows than usual.

"Alright." The woman rose. "You will stay here for several days." She nodded to the captain at her right- the rest of the ANBU squad appeared at her side. She knew that at least one would guard the doors to her imprisonment.

"Hyuuga Hinata, I'm sentencing you to probation for three months, and day guard duty for four. You will not be allowed to take any long-term missions, or missions that require you to cross the border of Konoha, until I see fit. Is that understood?"

"Hai Godaime-sama."

"Alright. Oh, and you'll be allowed to see your visitors once you get out of here and are checked up in the hospital."

"Hai Godaime-sama." She paused a moment, contemplating whether to speak again. "And thank you." A small smile was given in return before the older woman left with her accompanying ninja, closing the door behind her to leave Hinata to herself.

Itachi…

You were just… too good to be real, I guess.

But thank you… for your sweet promise.

-Owari-

Finally done… still confusing… but I do like the ending part with the Tsunade and Hinata (probably because that's one of the clearest parts in my story).

Give me reviews. Because I'll be annoyed if you don't.

And you have no idea how much I've wanted to put that (owari) at the end of my story. It makes me feel so accomplished.