Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto. If I did, I wouldn't be writing this now would I?

From Hell to Heaven to Hell Again

by chairomori

Summary: Itachi didn't know what drew him to the certain bun-haired kunoichi. It would be the end of him. ItaTen.

Note: This fiction is meant to be read after When Heaven Falls; however, you don't have to if you really don't want to. It'll just feel like there are holes.

Setting: Various locations and time frames

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Itachi didn't know why he had given her Sasori's ring. He didn't know her, and he didn't really care to know her. It was like how he let Sasuke survive. He simply did it. Sure, she had managed to slightly wound him with a kunai–his first wound in quite a while–but he doubted she would gain any skill any time soon.

Still, there was a strange glimmer in her eye. It reminded him of himself. The shadow of a restless wanderer, searching for a purpose in life, willing to take any means to find it.

Every now and then he took the time to wonder what had happened to the bun-haired girl he met in the forest. He thought of her as his project. As Deidara would say, a bit of clay to be molded. When–no, if he met her again, he would see the results.

It would be years before that would happen. When she did appear in front of the Akatsuki hideout, he felt a hint of satisfaction and pride swell inside his chest, though he didn't show it. It was him who had given her the first steps of her new life. He was the one who helped create the woman before him and Kisame. In a way, he felt that she was better than Sasuke. She found her strength independently, whereas Sasuke went to Orochimaru.

He learned her name was Naraku no Kuroryuu. Of course, he knew it wasn't her true name, but he couldn't care less what her real name was.

It was a bit frustrating to him when he realized that after she passed her initiation, she would be paired with Deidara, who had remained partner-less after Sasori was killed. He was the one who had gotten her to where he was. She should have been paired with himself, not that hyperactive goofball.

He was a little surprise when one day, she barged into his room after he had returned early from a mission. She had been startled as well, not expecting him to be there. She confessed that Deidara had dared her into turning his extra clothes pink and held up a can of spray paint as evidence, as she backed out the door. He had grabbed her wrist to stop her from leaving and shut the door, deciding to main his blonde-haired comrade later. His crimson eyes focused only on her. . .

Later, Orochimaru would reappear at the hideout, raving to kill his creation. In the end though, he and Leader killed each other, ending the Akatsuki, causing everyone to break away to their separate paths. He left with her.

One day, she began to act peculiarly, withdrawing from his advances. Not only unusual was her behavior, but her clothing and appetite. It had gone on for months, and he was close to addressing it to her, when she suddenly collapsed in the midst of battle against a few hunter-nin and demanded he seek medical attention for her.

Now, as he gazed at her form, clutching a deformed child, he understood. He understood, but didn't know how to react. He had been trained to be an assassin, to abandon all emotion. It was difficult, impossible for him to provide any solace for her grieving form. After prying her from the scene, his attempt at consolation allowed the fatal words to flow from his mouth:

"It would only have hindered us."

How was he to know, that it was because of those very words, that she would later drug and behead him? How was he to know, that even a fallen angel like herself could not survive with such a cold companion? He was only human. Stripped to the very barest form of humanity, albeit, but still human. At least, he was.

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A/N: Ugh. I don't think I like this one very much. I tried to keep Itachi as IC as possible while explaining things that goes on in his weird little head. If you have any suggestions on how to improve this, I'll try to find some time to re-write it. Anyway, please review! And if you want more, I have anther fic called Gold Equates to Heaven. Very few people read that so, I'd be much obliged if those of you who haven't did and gave me some feedback for improvement. Don't forget to review!