N/A: Why Itachi/Ino? I don't know...Probably because I don't want to pair him with Sakura. I know Itachi wouldn't be caught dead with any of them, but I wanted to give it a try :) I reedited the thing because I realized I had put the rulers in all the wrong places. I hope no one got too confused because of that...
The story alternates between Ino and Itachi's POV. It's the first time I write in first person so...I hope I'm doing it right :)
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto. If I did, all the characters would be older and possibly R-rated situations would occur...so be happy I don't :)
Chapter 1: Crossroad
I can't do this anymore.
I've been telling myself that for countless nights, on which the pain of my guilt became too much for me to handle. I've betrayed my friends, my village and even my own principles. For what? He will never care the way I do. It's not in his nature. The powers he possesses give him godly abilities. Gods only fall in love with humans in fairytales. Why is it I sometimes feel like I can understand him? The crime of killing your own kin is unforgivable and still, deep inside I don't judge or blame him for anything. I can only imagine what knowledge of the human mind Mangekyou Sharingan offers. He's the only person I can think of that truly knows himself, his limits and his desires.
It must be excruciating to see your own naked soul.
Again, she is questioning herself.
In her mind, she tries to find a justification for my actions and she tries to understand me. I don't tell her that it's useless...her mind is still bound by that mockery of justice they call morality. Justice is a relative notion so moral should also be relative, subject of influence by one's personality. But moral rules are predefined and rigid. Who said the one who thought of this concept wasn't just exposing his own, subjective, point of view?
She will never learn to accept what she is until she renounces the principles that have been forced upon her by society. And still, she believes she knows me and by trying to accept what I have done, she tries to accept her own actions. She does not know me entirely, but merely the sides I show her. You truly begin to know another person entirely after you know yourself and to do that you must make unthinkable sacrifices. Ones she would never be capable of doing.
Her mind holds no secrets from me. She has never tried to see what the roots of her thoughts look like, what lies behind her feelings and reactions. She would be terrified if she knew. I find it beautiful. Her flaws are perfect or better said, her imperfection drives me to her in ways she could never understand.
She is my humanity.
I remember the first time I met him.
I was running off alone, after seeing the boy I thought I loved with my rival. Funny, now I realize how shallow my feelings truly were. It was dark outside and the air was cold, too cold for me. I wasn't about to quit so I kept going until I left the village far behind me. I had no idea where I was going or how dangerous it was to stray from the village alone at night. Or maybe I did, but I didn't care. No one was in sight and I had my kunai and shuriken well prepared, my bad mood giving me the impression that no one could stand against me.
I distinguished a human frame in the dark, so I stopped a few feet away as my hand reached for one of the kunai. I couldn't see his face, but the crescent moon's light had shined for a moment upon his forehead protector. He was definitely a ninja, of what village I couldn't tell because the next moment he had disappeared into the darkness.
I kept my senses alert for any movement or sound, but I spotted nothing until the cold steel of a kunai touched my neck. I quickly turned around and tried to swing my own kunai at him, but he caught my wrist with a speed I had never thought possible. And then I finally saw him, or his eyes to be exact because they caught my view first.
I knew from my father what those eyes were capable of, but he could have killed me just the same if I looked away. So I kept staring at him, unable to say a word. My mind finally gave me the answer I searched for: S-class criminal, Uchiha Itachi.
All my bravery melted like butter and I can only imagine how amusing it must have been for him to see my terrified expression. I had never seen him before, but I overheard a discussion between my father and Shikamaru's, concerning how dangerous he was.
His eyes were fixed on mine and I couldn't pull away. I expected to hear him say the words that would throw me into a universe of pain. I could almost hear them in my mind...Mangekyou Sharingan. I don't know how I managed not to tremble, but I felt fear like no other time in my life. He kept silent, prolonging my torture, I thought. The fear of what was going to happen was suffocating me; I wanted him to just do it and get it over with, because the thought of getting out of this with my mental sanity intact never occurred to me. My eyes hardened. If I provoked him, he would stop toying with me and get it over with. My gaze now showed anger and my brows knitted, defying him.
To my surprise, he suddenly let go of my wrist and I just stood there, not comprehending what he had done. What sort of game was he playing?
"Run away." he finally broke the silence, his eyes still piercing into mine giving me the impression of fatality.
He was letting me go, just like that? Hope finally overwhelmed me and I was just about to do what he had told me, when one part of me suddenly revolted. He's not at all threatened by me (a fact which I had already known before and it had made perfect sense, but now it somehow felt disturbingly insulting) and on top of that he thought I wasn't even worth killing? I was still a ninja and any ninja would rather die than be humiliated in such a way. In that moment I glared at him, truly hating him with all my heart. I was going to fight this bastard with all I had! Unfortunately, I only completely mastered one jutsu: mind transfer. He was straight in front of me and he underestimated me so he wouldn't see it coming. It was my only chance. I closed my eyes and formed the seal quickly:
Shintenshin no jutsu
I realized my body fell to the ground, but I felt no pain, because my mind was already outside of it and heading for his. I felt his eyes directly upon my naked mind and in that moment, I realized he could have dodged the jutsu.
But he didn't.
Instead of seeing the world through his eyes like I was supposed to, I found myself in a maze of some sort. A feeling of helpless fear struck me. This place was...his mind?
I couldn't see through the high walls of the labyrinth, but I felt it with my mind. It was endless. It became clear to me that I wasn't ever going to leave this place. My fist clenched and my nails dug into my own skin. How was such a thing possible?
Everything is possible
He was speaking directly into my mind. I turned around, the feeling of despair threatening to overcome me. His figure materialized in front of me and I took a step back, instinctively reaching for the non-existent kunai.
This is my world...everything you try will be useless.
I knew he wasn't lying, but I still held a shred of hope. I had to get out of here somehow...
"Cancel!" I yelled.
It had no effect. My mind wasn't returning.
Why didn't you run away?
He believed he was so superior...that made my blood boil and once again, my anger was stronger than my fear.
"Screw you! I'm Yamanaka Ino from the village of Konoha and I run from no one!" I shouted at him. So what? He was going to kill me anyway.
My reaction didn't seem to faze him in any way and his expression remained calm, if a little surprised. He approached me and I backed away, with the same angry expression, like a cornered dog. My back hit against something hard and both his arms shot up trapping me between him and the wall. His face drew closer to mine, so close that I could feel his breath on my skin. Funny how in that moment of life and death I acknowledged that he was in fact, very attractive.
He smirked and all the blood rushed to my face as I realized that, while in this place, he could read my thoughts. I couldn't pull my gaze away from his eyes, almost mesmerized by the three comma-like formations in the sea of red. The next moment, I felt his hands grabbing my shoulders as his lips pressed against mine. The breath stopped in my throat as my heart started to beat frantically, but I didn't fight it. Why? I don't know, but in that moment logic seemed out of place since, technically this was all happening in his mind.
I had so many questions...what was I doing...what was he doing...why didn't he torture my mind like he did to so many others. But strangely, I didn't care about his reasons, or my own for that matter. Maybe it was the fact that I'd seen Sasuke with Sakura and I wanted some sort of revenge or maybe it was merely the thrill. I finally decided it was both as adrenaline surged throughout my body, making me shiver. I could feel his tongue parting my lips and every other perception I had disappeared. There was nothing except his tongue circling around mine and his lips moving on my own, giving me sensations I had never felt before. It felt like he was the only real thing around me and if he would back away, I would fall into the endless void. I felt my knees sink and his arm circled around my waist, supporting me. I couldn't feel the rest of my body anymore so I abandoned myself to him totally. He already had a hold on my mind. My eyes were closed, or maybe it was pitch black all around me, I couldn't tell. I couldn't even feel his body anymore and the effort of reaching into his mind had drained me of all my chakra. I started to lose the perception of myself, like my own mind was beginning to disappear.
Is this what death feels like? I wondered as I lost consciousness.
Her mind had returned to her body, which lied on the ground in front of me. She was unconscious of course and would remain so for at least a few days.
I approached her and, putting one knee on the ground, I lifted her head. A lock of blonde hair covered her face, so I pushed it away. How could she have assumed for one second that she could take over my mind? Foolish girl...
I don't know what drove me to possess her mind the way I did. Instead of torturing her, I found it more pleasing to use her own emotions against her. Her mind was strangely susceptible to me and I found out why later on. It seemed she had a crush on non other than my weak little brother and the physical resemblance between us had influenced her greatly. I had seen a lot of sorrow inside of her mind and it had something to do with my lesser sibling. Well...it was one way to get revenge on him, I thought, somewhat amused. It was in that moment I decided not to kill her. It would be interesting to see what path she would pursue from here on. She posed no threat no me anyway and I wondered if she was going to tell the Jounin of Konoha about our encounter.
I smiled as I looked at her broken form. If I left her here, she might never get back to Konoha in one piece.
I opened my eyes to see the familiar setting of a hospital room. Not just any hospital room, but Konoha's. How did I get here? The last thing I remembered was blanking out...my mind wasn't even in my body, it was in...
Then I remembered. Uchiha Itachi.
I flexed the fingers of my arms and legs, feeling them respond to my commands. I couldn't believe I was still alive and in control of my own body again. And more importantly, who brought me to the hospital? It was highly unlikely that the infamous S-class criminal would do such a thing, but it was also unlikely that he would leave me alive – which he apparently did.
Almost unconsciously, my fingers went to my lips. I felt a shiver throughout my whole body as I recalled the memory of his kiss. It was so deep and warm and it felt so...real, even if our bodies never touched...What am I thinking? I scolded myself. I couldn't believe I left myself to be subdued by him so easily. He was a murderer of his own kin, a monster. I hated myself for responding to his kiss and even more for liking it.
The sound of the door opening interrupted my inner struggles. Shikamaru and Choji walked in, each holding a flower.
"Ino...you're finally awake." Shikamaru said, sitting down by my side.
"Yeah..." I answered, wondering what I should say happened to me. The right thing to do was to tell everyone I crossed paths with Uchiha Itachi so they would probably have ANBU go in pursuit of him. Who knew what terrible purpose brought him so close to Konoha...
"What the heck happened to you? The found you laying unconscious on the hospital steps..." Shikamaru's voice sounded worried. "They said you were completely drained of chakra..." he continued.
On the hospital steps? I didn't dare to assume Itachi had brought me here, but the thought did cross my mind. It was improbable that a by-passer would have taken me to Konoha because they couldn't have known where the village was hidden. Another ninja would have no interest in bringing me back and even if they did, someone would have spotted a foreign ninja entering the village. Itachi would probably have the skill to pass by undetected...I was more confused than ever right now, so confused I didn't even notice Shikamaru and Choji looking at me with worried eyes as I spaced out.
I realized they expected an answer from me and tried my best to withhold the truth from them without lying.
"I...went outside the village and encountered an enemy ninja."
"Enemy? Who was it?" Choji wanted to know.
"I don't know...I couldn't see his face." I lied, feeling the first stings of guilt.
"So what happened?"
"We fought and I...used mind transfer, but he was somehow immune to it and turned it against me." That as close from the truth that I could get without telling them about the Sharingan, which would obviously reveal his identity.
"That explains why you had no more chakra, but it doesn't explain how you got here." Shikamaru informed me.
"I don't know...I really don't know. I thought I was going to die." I answered honestly.
"That guy must have brought you back..." Choji opined.
"You think so?" I asked, realizing at the last moment how hopeful I sounded.
They both looked at me a bit surprised, probably wondering if the whole ordeal had affected my sanity.
"If he did bring you back...the question is how he did that without being seen by anyone." Shikamaru thought aloud.
If Shikamaru came to the same conclusion, it must be the right one, I thought. He was the smartest person I could think of.
Thankfully, he couldn't ask anymore questions because the door opened and a nurse stepped in.
"I must ask the two of you to leave now. She has to get some rest. After all, Hokage-sama wants to see her this afternoon."
Shikamaru and Choji both said their goodbyes, but I couldn't even hear them. Did she just say Hokage-sama wanted to see me? How could I possibly keep the truth from her? Why would I? The village's safety was in stake...I had no idea what compelled me to keep my meeting with Itachi a secret. Maybe it was because he had stirred something inside of me that made me believe he wasn't the monster everyone said he was.
Either way...I had to make a decision soon.
A/N: I tried to keep Itachi in character, but I don't know how well I did considering he doesn't give a flying...you know what about Ino :) Anyway, I don't know when chapter two will be up, since I've got college to deal with and other stuff...but I won't take forever to update, I promise.