2/29/08

A Start

Itachi Uchiha: Uchiha Residence: 2156


Itachi slammed down the seventh book in half-an-hour, feeling immensely frustrated.

It'd been two days since Naruto had passed out in the kitchen. He'd woken the night before, groggy and disoriented. He kept calling Kakashi "sensei" and had fought back when they'd tried to get him to go to his room. He kept trying to talk, but none of what he'd said made any sense. Kakashi had finally given up and just knocked the boy unconscious again.

Itachi hadn't approved, Naruto would probably wake up feeling worse, but he'd let it slide because Sasuke had wandered in, looking vaguely concerned, telling them to keep it down.

After he'd left, Kakashi had a brain flash, telling Itachi to look through any book he had on Konoha's government, present and past. Itachi had only complied because it had seemed like as good a start as any.

Kakashi himself had immediately left, saying something about having an idea.

That was the older Uchiha sibling found himself pouring through books on all of Sunday, reading up on their city's government and politics. And through all that searching and thinking and conclusion jumping, he'd realized something.

There was not even one that wasn't written by some government official.

All of the books were biased, he'd been expecting that, but he hadn't been expecting to find the same authors on almost all of the books he'd found.

He'd looked through about one-hundred and twelve and, in a passive-interested moment, had glanced at the covers to see who had written what. He had only realized they were all written by the same group of authors after spotting three by some Yamanaka guy. Itachi had then organized the piles into authors and found that there were only nineteen of them, and only one of them had a single book to his name.

The discovery was made even more startling by the fact that the authors didn't stay on one subject. Yamanaka had written a total of eighteen of the books, three about Konoha government rankings and workings, five about Konoha before the ninja outlawing, six about various Suna officials, and four about random cities scattered throughout Fire Country. The four subjects barely had any relation to each other.

The other piles in were in the same boat. All of the authors had written books about subjects that didn't have much to do with each other. And they often contradicted at least one of their own books.

Whatever the hell was going on with that, Itachi didn't know, but he was intelligent enough figure out what the overall meaning was.

The government was controlling what they knew.

He didn't like where that trail of thought led him, but it would be both stupid and dangerous to ignore the facts.

The oldest book in the pile was the one by the single author, so he reluctantly let that go, the next oldest was written about thirty years previous. Their current Hokage hadn't been elected until about four years ago and Orochimaru hadn't become an issue until two years ago. That could only mean that the brainwashing hadn't started with Orochimaru.

As the books became newer, they started to draw on each other's ideas and some even repeated a few quotes, without crediting the author it came from. They were slowly coming together and Itachi knew it would soon be at a point where there was only one idea, one book.

Orochimaru wasn't their problem, the whole damn government was.

That put things into a much bigger light and, in turn, a bigger issue. If Kakashi really wanted to change things, Orochimaru and the Hokage were a good place to start, because in the pyramid of power, they were only the first obstacle.


Itachi watched emotionlessly as Kakashi paced around the kitchen. He had shared his theory with the man as soon as he had returned. The other researcher had cursed and had immediately started to think, by wearing a whole in Itachi's floor.

"You're sure?" Kakashi asked, stopping and regarding Itachi with a serious frown.

Itachi nodded. "I compared and wrote out a few things and used the net to do a little more research. The government is trying to control what we think."

Kakashi cursed again. "Orochimaru...?"

Itachi shook his head. "Is no longer a factor. In light of this discovery, I don't think he even counts as a problem anymore. He's just a man who wants power. Not remotely dangerous considering the people who already have it."

"Yes, but we can't just ignore him. He was the whole reason I woke Naruto. We have to do something about him, even if he isn't much of a problem."

Itachi frowned. "Because you believe he can become an issue?"

"No, I just don't like him."

Itachi resisted the urge to roll his eyes. "I think he can be used as a starting point. Something small to think about and deal with before we take on the bigger names."

Kakashi nodded. "There's only one way we can take of him for good."

Itachi sighed. "Assassination."

"Yes. We have to have him out of the way, or he just might pose a threat to us later."

"I thought you said you just didn't like him."

"I was kidding."

"It's hard to tell with you sometimes."

Kakashi impatiently waved his hand, pushing the topic away. "How do we do it? We both know Orochimaru isn't an easy man to access."

Itachi brushed a stray strand of hair out of his face, thinking. Something was on the edge of his mind and he willed himself not to grasp at it. The thought would come to him in it's own time.

"Hey, is there anything to eat?" a weak voice came from the doorway.

Kakashi and Itachi both looked over, spotting Naruto leaning in the doorframe. He looked pale and exhausted, as well as slightly feverish. His eyes were still sort of glassy, but otherwise he seemed fine.

"How are you?" Kakashi immediately strode over to the teen, feeling his temperature and checking his vital signs.

Naruto offered a weak laugh. "I don't feel like I'm going die anymore, I'm just hungry."

"I can have Sasuke prepare something for you." Itachi stood and went to the intercom on the wall. He hadn't thought he'd ever need to use it, but he supposed it came in handy.

He put in a quick code on the pad and pressed the green button. He only had to wait a few seconds before Sasuke answered.

"This thing is annoying."

"How so?"

"It makes a screeching noise, like a rabbit is dying."

Itachi resisted the urge to ask how he would what that sounded like and got to the reason he was calling on his little brother.

"Can you come down to the kitchen and make Naruto something to eat?"

"He's awake?"

"Of course."

There was pause, then Sasuke sighed heavily. "Do we even have food we can make ourselves?"

"Yes, or I wouldn't be asking."

Another pause. "I have to finish my assignment, then I'm coming down."

Itachi took his finger off of the button, turning and finding Naruto sitting on a stool, his head on the island. Kakashi was next to him, looking at him with something close to concern.

"Are you sure you're feeling well?" he asked.

"Yeah," Naruto answered tiredly, "I just need something to eat and a little more rest, then I'll be fine."

"Will you be able to go to school tomorrow?" Itachi asked.

Naruto frowned, startled. "Huh?"

That was right, they hadn't told him yet. "We enrolled you into school on Friday. You have to go in order to keep up appearances with Sasuke and anyone who might run into you. It's only temporary, until we find a way to kill you."

Naruto looked even more bewildered and Kakashi shot him an annoyed glare.

"Not literally, of course. We have to fake your death somehow so that there will be a legitimate excuse as to why you're not in school and you can put all of your time into helping us."

The blond still looked a little confused, but he nodded. "I heard you guys talking about killing someone, anything I can do to help?"

"Not unless you can sneak past a few guards, kill a man specially trained, and get away relatively unharmed."

Silence.

"You were a ninja..." Kakashi said thoughtfully.

The thought that had been bothering Itachi a while ago now came to the forefront. "Ninja were used to do various missions for the village, ranked according to difficulty and importance, which included assassination."

Naruto looked uneasy. "I know I said I don't remember much from before Kakashi woke me up, but I get the feeling I never actually killed anyone."

"Now's a good time to start desensitizing yourself. You're the only one in the world who has a chance at doing this and succeeding."

Naruto reluctantly nodded. "I'd have to train, but I think I can probably do it."

"That'll have to be good enough, for now." Itachi tapped his fingers on the counter. "Kakashi, before you left, you said you had an idea. What was it?"

The man sighed. "We're not going to be able to do all of this on our own. Three people is nowhere near enough to do take down Orochimaru and the Hokage, let alone the government if your theory is correct."

"So, you're saying we need to recruit?" Naruto asked.

"Yes. We need to find people who are willing to go against the powers that be, who are willing to risk their lives, to make Konoha the place it once was."

Itachi thought about their separate situations and social standings. "I can find people at work. Kakashi, you can go through the city and search. Naruto, you can find people at school," he gave them a stern stare. "Don't just pick anyone who seems rebellious. Get to know people, their ideas and beliefs, their opinions. If our plans get into the wrong hands, it'll be the end of all us."

It was quiet while they thought about that, but Naruto broke it soon enough. "Will it be safe to use a bunch of teenagers? They're rebellious by nature and it'll be hard for me to find the ones who are truly against the government and all."

"It'll be safe. Teens can get away with things that adults can't. As for whether they're trustworthy," Kakashi trailed off. "You're going to have to use your best judgement."

The door banged open, startling them.

Sasuke walked in, glancing impassively at the three in the room. He offered them a nod and went to the stove, pulling pans from underneath and going to the closet, pulling out a few items of food. He washed his hands and got to work preparing.

"Can you please not stare?" he asked dryly.

Itachi simply looked back at Naruto and Kakashi, who both seemed a little embarrassed. He shook his head.

"Is it a plan?" he asked, as if Sasuke wasn't there at all.

Naruto nodded and fiddled with his hands. Kakashi sighed, crossing his arms and leaning back, staring at the ceiling.

"No, but it's a start."


Oh, wow, plot finally.
I honestly tried to make this longer, but it wouldnt budge. Sorry 'bout that. I wanted to make the three or so months worth it but I don't think I succeeded very well.
Con-crit appreciated (as well as praise XD) and I hope you enjoyed the chapter.

- Slaughter