Disclaimer: This is my last disclaimer for this chapter. After this five month run, I still don't own anything that has to do with the anime/manga Naruto.

Warnings: This chapter contains incest, yaoi, slight yuri, sexual content, references to violence, coarse language, use of alcohol, use of tobacco, OOC, and the canon is only making small appearences. There are also a few errors in here, so excuse me for that. This is also my last chapter of this story.

Pairings: ItaSasu, ItaKabu, KakaIta, references to AsuKure, slight GaiKaka, a little InoSaku


"He appreciates all of these flowers, Sakura," Ino smiled at her friend as they placed a bouquet of flowers on the grave.

A week had passed since the day when they buried Naruto, and everyday Ino and Sakura would visit the grave and remember what he was before he died. They only talked about the positive aspects, mostly old Academy stories. They smiled as they remembered all of the dumb remarks, the jealousy towards Sasuke, his not so secret crush on Sakura. Sakura always smiled as Ino tried to keep Naruto in a positive light before the time where Sakura left to go with Kabuto.

Sakura placed a hand over Naruto's name on the grave stone, tears rolling down her cheeks. All she could see was that smile on his face every time that he had talked to her in the Academy, she never paid attention to him, thinking that he was annoying, nothing more than a nuisance. Now as she thought back to all of those times, she wished she could have been different around him. If she had, would he be dead? Would he have taken his own life?

"Why?" Sakura asked. "Why did he have to die?"

"Sakura," Ino sighed. "You have to stop blaming yourself for all of this. You didn't kill him, no one did. He chose to do this, respect his choice to save your life from Kabuto and the Sound village, don't hate it."

"I'm sorry," Sakura breathed. "I guess I always thought he was immortal, that nothing would ever kill him. I was wrong. He would have healed himself if it wasn't for that damn poison, if I had fought Kabuto off that night… maybe…" she took a deep breath. "Maybe Naruto would still be here. Maybe no one would have died."

Ino bowed her head. "Sakura…"

The two of them looked at the flowers on the grave, Sakura's eyes still filled with tears. The day when Kabuto would find justice was far away from the current day, they had a feeling he might never find that justice that everyone wanted him to find. What he did to Sakura was unforgivable as was the pain that he had caused Sasuke. He was a larger threat to the village than Itachi Uchiha.

"When do you think that village will do away with Kabuto?" Sakura asked as she looked over at Ino. "I don't want to know that he's in this village, whether he's imprisoned or not. I don't want to know that the man that almost killed me is in the same village as me."

Ino sighed. "At least Itachi's gone…"

"I don't hate Itachi," Sakura breathed, closing her eyes. "When he was going to kill me, he was only killing me because he didn't want to see me become like Kabuto. He wanted me to die the girl who he met in the hospital, the girl who helped him. Ever since that day, I know now that I have to become that girl, I have to become the Sakura Haruno that would never turn her back on her friends. I have to become the Sakura Haruno who doesn't want revenge. I have to be the old me."

"Itachi Uchiha," Ino sighed. "What exactly was he here for?"

"Why else would a ninja of such high station come to this village," Sakura asked. "He wanted to stop his organization from getting the fox that they wanted to grasp so badly. He was here to foil the plans of the people who had let him go. He was here to stop Orochimaru right where he stood."

Sakura stood up looking down at the grave. "I know that one day, someday, if Kabuto and I ever meet again, if I ever see him again," she took a deep breath. "He will regret it, because the next time we meet one of us will die," she closed her eyes loosely. "I will avenge you, Naruto; I will make sure that Kabuto Yakushi will pay for what he did to you."

Ino looked up at her best friend. "Do you think that you will be able to do it alone? I'll help you," she gazed into wide green eyes. "I will train with you everyday until there is nothing left to train for. I will be there when Kabuto goes down; I owe him a hit over the head."

Together they looked back at Naruto's grave; Sakura was going to become stronger just like Naruto always wanted. It wasn't only for Naruto, it was for Sakura, it was for her knowing that her dream could still come true. She was going to be strong, she was no longer going to sit back and watch as everybody else did the work anymore. She wasn't going to put that weight on Sasuke. She was going to be her own person.

Just you wait, Kabuto, you're going to pay for this. I'm going to be the one to kill you. She started to walk away with Ino by her side, through her peripheral vision looking back at Naruto's grave one last time. He wasn't going to die in vain; she was going to embrace the sacrifice, the chance that he had given her. She was going to use this second chance and she was finally going to correct the wrongs that she had caused. This was only the beginning.

-----

"Are you going to talk?" Asuma asked as he pressed his hands up against the table. "Tell us what the Akatsuki is planning. What were you doing with them? And with you gone, what are they going to do?"

Kabuto snickered from his seat. "To answer your questions: if I can avoid it, I have no clue, I was a pawn, and I suppose they'll be proud to know that they got rid of me. Does that answer your questions, Asuma Sarutobi? Or do you need more information out of pawn like me?"

The jounin sat down across from the Sound ninja. "What were you doing with Itachi Uchiha?"

"You want to know the truth?" Kabuto asked with a grin. "I was going to kill him," he looked up into the jounin's shocked eyes. "I was going to bring him back to my master and kill him. Did you think it was just for the fox and that damn little Itachi? No, I wanted the older brother, that's why I came here in the first place, I've always dreamed of feeling that blood on my face."

Asuma shook his head. "Kill him?"

"Kill him, do you know how much the organization wants that mistake that they made corrected? They will kill everyone in this village if it means that they will get what they want. Itachi will fall one of these days, maybe not by my hand, but the Akatsuki is on the move. I can sense them all coming to get him. I can sense every last one of them coming from hiding and looking for him. He's not going to be safe after they find him. After all, he was the one who killed the fox."

Asuma sighed. "What about your life? Don't you care about what's going to happen to you after they find you?"

The younger ninja laughed at the question. "Do you think that I care what happens to me? I gave everything that I am to Lord Orochimaru, if it is time for me to expire, then there's nothing that I can do against him."

Asuma closed his eyes. "Why do you follow him?"

"Why do you follow your father?" Kabuto asked back, adjusting his glasses. "It's just what we do. We don't ask questions about the people that we follow, we just follow every command that they give us. If you know why you follow the Hokage, you will know why I follow Orochimaru."

"You think that my father and Orochimaru are the same? That's where you're wrong. My father would never send people on mindless missions where people are going to have a one hundred percent chance of dying."

Kabuto snickered as he watched the jounin bite at his lip, his eyes narrowing. The air in the room got thin and stiff as they looked into each other's eyes. Kabuto Yakushi was not like him. The way that he respected his father was not the same way that Orochimaru was respected.

"Oh come on, your Hokage did something worse. He was too busy paying attention to that weakling to even think about sending people to the real problem. I was the real problem, but you all were fixated on him being the one who made the village suffer. You were a fool to think that he would do all of this. He wanted to take his brother and run, you should have let him," Kabuto smirked. "Itachi was the one saving you all along, and you were attacking him, and now you're attacking his brother. Pathetic, that's what you are."

The jounin slammed his hands against the table. "Where is Itachi Uchiha off to in such a rush? Where is he going?"

"How should I know? He's probably on his way to take care of those people in the Akatsuki. Did you think that you could keep him in one spot forever? Itachi has always been one to wander. I don't know what's going through his mind, but I know it means nothing good for you and your village," Kabuto looked over at the jounin who was pulling out a cigarette. "First one in a while isn't it?"

"What are you talking about?" Asuma asked.

"Since the injury that Kakashi Hatake gave you, you haven't been able to smoke. Now that you are breathing properly you can give into your habit once again and once again you can start smoking. Are my answers upsetting you? Do you expect me just to give you everything that you want? I'm not like that. I won't talk of this plan that I had, because it no longer alive, it died with that boy in the woods."

"What do you think of that?" the jounin asked lighting his cigarette. "Are you mad because of what happened? Are you mad at what Itachi Uchiha has done to you? Are you mad because he stopped your plan?"

"No," Kabuto answered. "I'm not mad at him," he looked up into his dark eyes. "To know that he is stronger than he was before, that he can defeat them. That's what makes me content. I know that one day, he will do just that, he will make every last one of them pay for what they did to him, and no one is going to stop him. Not your father, not the Akatsuki, not Orochimaru. He will have his blood."

Asuma narrowed his eyes as he stood up. "I'm done with you here."

He walked out the door to be met with another jounin. "So what did you get?"

"Nothing," the other jounin said. "I'm telling you, Gai, there's no getting information out of that kid. It's like talking to a wall. All he does is sit there, nothing happens. I need a drink every time I try to speak to him."

Gai sighed. "That bad, huh?"

"I just wish that he would tell us everything before we have to torture him," Asuma sighed. "Why is he not talking about anything that has to do with Orochimaru or Itachi. Doesn't he know that we'd let him go?"

"I don't think he wants to be let go," Gai stated. "Anyway, you've been through a lot, you don't have to stay here all day and talk to him. You should go home to Kurenai; she's getting worried about you. I don't want to see you get hurt again because of all of this mayhem."

Asuma laughed at the remark. "Only a month ago, you were hoping that something happened to me. Now you don't want to see me get hurt. A lot has changed since then hasn't it. It's like none of our lives are the same anymore, every last one of us has been hit by this situation somehow. Some greater than others."

"You mean Sasuke," Gai answered lightly. "I'm sure that he's doing fine, that kid is Kakashi's prized student. I don't doubt that he has developed Kakashi's cool calm demeanor."

-----

"Everything wasn't a lie," Sasuke breathed as he flipped through the book. "He wasn't using me. Why would Itachi use me when I was weak and then leave me when I got strong? It doesn't make any sense."

Sasuke was on his knees on the ground, looking through the pages of the book that Itachi had left behind, the one that had taught them medical ninjutsu; it was the only way that he could still be close to him. The blood on the pages was still there, still making Sasuke wish that his brother would come back into his arms, but he knew now that he never would. It had been a week since he buried his best friend; it was time to move on.

As he looked at the blood, a surge of pain went through his head, his whole body shaking. They're getting closer and sharper. I can't lose control over these eyes. I own these eyes, they don't own me. He looked up at the window seeing the sun start to set. The days went by quickly ever since the day that he left. Some people would say that sometimes when people leave you, the days go by so slowly. But the days went slower when he was by his side.

"Itachi," Sasuke breathed, rubbing his forehead. "I don't want to lose all of the lessons that you taught me. I don't want you to take everything that we experienced and forget it all. I don't want you to fade away, just like you remained in my mind the last time. Only this time around instead of harboring hate for you, I feel nothing but love and longing. One day I will go looking for you. One day I will find you again, one day, you and I will be reunited," he touched the dried blood, closing his eyes tighter.

He took a deep breath as he rose from the ground, walking back to lay on the bed, remembering all of the times when he would just lay here with Itachi. He remembered the nights when his brother used to hold him, his hands running through his hair. This wasn't supposed to end like this. He wasn't supposed to walk away.

To walk away from him, to turn around and feel nothing as he left him, it was almost cruel. There was no way that he was going to keep on like this. Itachi wouldn't leave him alone like this, not after all of the power that he gained. Did Itachi even care about the power that was given to Sasuke? All of this time, did he fear the power that his own eyes had, or was he jealous that Sasuke's eyes might one day surpass his own. There were so many reasons, but none of them made sense. Every choice proved Itachi to be running from Sasuke.

"Where the hell are you?" he asked, his fingers tightening in the sheets. "What the hell were you trying to do? What the hell is going on? Why did you run away from me?"

He tried to think about the pain that Itachi must have gone through as he looked down at Sasuke's body. Did he think that he was dead? Did he think that he was going to die after the sharingan took hold of him? Itachi used a lot of chakra during his fights; there was nothing left for him to heal Sasuke's body before he got too deep into the transition. Now all he had was the memory of the moment right before he went off with Naruto, he had to remember him as he was as he was as he stood dying right in front of the enemy. He wasn't even sure if he was still alive. Did he go after the Akatsuki?

Sasuke closed his eyes as he felt tears form behind his eyelids. He had no reason to cry, he didn't feel sad. He was just lonely. All of his life his brother had teased him, played with him. He broke his promise again. He told him that he wasn't going to let anything happen to him. He promised with his life that nothing was going to cause pain to him. He had done just that, he had taken everything away from him. The greatest way that he could ever break that promise was the way that he had been this whole time, he had been abandoning him.

He said that he wouldn't leave unless Sasuke told him to. Never once did Sasuke tell him to leave that moment. Did he honestly think that he had to avenge what happened? Did he honestly think that he had to leave him all alone? To leave someone alone in that situation was cold even for him.

"What were you thinking?" Sasuke asked as he looked at the empty space next to him. "What were you thinking when you were running away from me? Did you know what you were leaving behind? Or were you clueless to what we had? You didn't know how much I would miss you, did you? You didn't know that I would be sitting in this bed every night crying for no reason," he buried his face in the pillow. "Itachi," he took a deep breath as he started to sob. "I don't want to be alone anymore! I don't want to be here, lying in this bed, waiting for you. I want to feel your arms around me one more time. I want to kiss your lips and hear you say that you love me. I would give anything for that pleasure one more time."

The sun continued to set, it had been over a week since he was here, Itachi Uchiha was slowly fading from his life. Back then, he would have loved to forget his face for one day, to have some peace. Now it was different, the second that his face was gone from his memories was the second when he was going to have to leave. He was going to see Itachi again even if meant he had to die.

"I don't want to lose you," he wiped the tears from his eyes. "This is not how it's going to end. I'm not going to let it end like this. Someday, someway, I'll find you once again," he closed his eyes, blocking his blurring vision. "Itachi, I love you. I will never stop loving you no matter how much they want me to."

Sasuke grasped the pillow tightly, looking up into the sky, his body moving uneasily against the sheets. There was no way that he was going to get through the night, but he knew that he could. He had done it for years; he was going to get over. The cold. He wasn't going to let him die in his memories. Itachi was alive, and he was going to stay that way for years to come.

-----

They're all gone, about time. Kabuto sat in his cell, looking up at the ceiling. All of the questioning had gotten old, he was sick of being stuck in here. He was no longer of any use; they had to do one of two things to him. They could either kill him or let him go. Even death seemed better than this.

He looked into the darkness of the hall; no one was here to ask him questions tonight. Asuma Sarutobi, must have had better things to do than ask him more. He knew better than anyone else that Kabuto wasn't going to give them any answers to any questions. He had chased all of the jounin away from here.

"I guess I'm just too smart for my own good," he leaned up against the wall closing his eyes.

The he heard it, the footsteps coming to the doorway of the cell. It wasn't a jounin; all of the jounin had called it a night. It was someone else. Who could it be? Was it the Akatsuki coming to tie up the loose ends that they had left when they let him live? This was getting to the point when this was not the way that he wanted to live. Why were they coming so early?

He moved closer to the window, away from the door that was now starting to open from the person who was outside. He could sense the power outside, but it wasn't anyone that he had been following orders from. He could smell the scent of jasmine; feel the air of extremely strong chakra.

"Kabuto," the voice said as the door opened, a young ninja in the doorway. "They managed to keep a hold on you for that long?"

Kabuto shook his head as he tried to focus on the person who was in front of him. It was like a ghost from the past that was coming back to haunt him. There was no way he had come back from where he had gone. The village was now going to be in trouble. Itachi Uchiha was back.

"What are you doing here?" Kabuto asked as he looked into Itachi's black eyes. "What possessed you to come to me?"

"I'm here to free you," he answered as he walked toward him.

"Why?" Kabuto asked as the door opened wider. "What did I ever do for you that made me worthy of your mercy? Why are you going to free me? Do you feel that bad for me? Or are you here to get me caught?"

Itachi chuckled. "You have to get Orochimaru way from the Akatsuki if you want a running start. I'm not going to spare anybody in this plan that they had. Everyone is going to die for what they did to me. They will pay for all of the pain that I have gone through. I won't rest until every last one of them is dead."

"Big words," Kabuto laughed as he walked toward the door. "Where are the guards?"

"I knocked them out with genjutsu," Itachi answered, following Kabuto down the hall. "I don't know how long it's going to last, so let's keep going."

Kabuto ran faster down the halls with Itachi by his side. After all of the pain that he had caused him, after all of the hurt, he still wanted to save him. But why? Why was Kabuto so important to him all of a sudden? Kabuto had done nothing but hurt him throughout the whole mission. This wasn't the way that he expected Itachi to treat him after all of that.

"Keep on running until you get to the edge of the village, follow the path with the knocked out guards," Itachi announced as they made it to the front door, trying to open it, hearing footsteps coming up behind them, he had missed a few guards. "Shit…"

"Leave me," Kabuto breathed. "Get out of here the way you came in."

"This is how I came in, they must have locked the doors so we couldn't get out," he curled his hand into a fist. "Pity, they must not know who they're dealing with," he slammed his fist to the door, the hard surface crumbling beneath the leather of his gloves. "Let's go…"

Kabuto shook his head as he followed him. I'm never going to get used to that.

They ran farther away from the prison, Itachi trying desperately to catch his breath, wiping the sweat from his forehead. His lungs were still scarred, breathing was going to be difficult for a while, but there wasn't much time before he left this place. He looked over at Kabuto one last time.

"Go warn the Akatsuki of what's coming," Itachi answered as he continued to pant. "Tell them that I'm going to kill them."

Kabuto looked out to the distance, taking a deep breath of the air. The Akatsuki didn't know what they had coming. Itachi was a wrath that they had tried to downplay for ages, now there was no way to downplay him. He was too strong for most of them. They were all going to fall at his feet and the Sound Village wasn't going to stop them. This was going to be the end of that organization. Kabuto could feel it.

-----

"What's going on?" Gai asked as he walked up to Asuma who was at the scene of the escape at the prison. "What the hell happened here? Did someone break out?"

Asuma nodded as he looked up into Gai's eyes. "Kabuto Yakushi broke out only a few hours ago. The guards don't remember a thing. They say that they were unconscious during the time frame," he picked up at piece of the door. "Whoever did this had to be strong. No one can break through these doors with normal strength."

Gai looked at the pieces. "It was taijutsu. But who could Kabuto know who was that strong? Was it Orochimaru?"

They looked around the scene, at all of the half conscious guards, something had happened here that was extreme, something that they couldn't just brush off as nothing. This breakout was well thought out and for a reason. None of the guards were killed; they were just simply put under a spell, like a genjutsu.

"High levels of taijutsu, a knowledge of genjutsu, and being involved with Kabuto Yakushi?" Asuma asked, his eyes widening as he found out who it was. "Itachi Uchiha," he answered. "He's back…"

Gai closed his eyes. "What the hell is he doing here? What does he want with us? Naruto's dead, we have nothing left to give him."

Asuma shook his head. "We do have one last thing for him," he looked up at the other jounin. "We have Sasuke, that's what he's coming back for. He knows that he's alive. He's coming back to get him."

Gai shook his head as he tried to think. "What do we do?"

Asuma took a drag on his cigarette. "We let him take the boy. Kakashi is in rough shape, him having a team will only make his death sentence sooner. You know as well as I do that he doesn't have much time."

"Kakashi lives for those kids, he would die for them," Gai answered. "You want to take that away from him? You want him to lose everything that he has to that man? It's true that he doesn't have much time to live, but it's not like it's sooner than we think. He has some time left."

The older jounin sighed. "You don't know do you?"

"Know what?" Gai asked his voice shaking. "What's going on, Asuma?"

"Gai," Asuma started as he looked at the other jounin, watching his body start to shake. "Kakashi has around a year left. The doctors said that his lungs and heart are slowly failing him; the genjutsu was good enough to mess up impulses and receptions. He's not going to last much longer."

Gai looked at the pieces of the door. "I knew that he was going to die. I just didn't want him to," he clutched the material tighter. "I didn't want to know that because I was too late to help him that he was the one who suffered. You Asuma, you tried to stop him. You left your post for him. You risked everything. I hated you because of that, because you were there to protect the village while I was too weak to."

"You are far from weak," Asuma answered.

"I knew that one day I would be hurt by all of this, but it wasn't because of the blade of a sword like what happened to you. It was because I watched my friend, scream in his sleep. I watched Kakashi uncontrollably cry for no reason. I had to check his pulse every time that he woke up to see if it was regular, check to see if he was breathing clearly. It was Hell, and it's still Hell to know that this will never end until he's gone," he shook his head. "I will find a way to stop this from happening. I will find a way to save him before he dies," he looked at the broken door. "Even if I have to rely on that brat to get stronger to save him," he looked at Asuma. "Find him and tell him to grow stronger at medical ninjutsu."

The taijutsu master walked away from Asuma, the other jounin looking down at the debris. "Gai, don't put this all on yourself," he closed his eyes. "Don't hide the pain, share it," he kicked the pieces. "I'm to blame too."

He went back to his work of searching the place for any wounded people. "Itachi is back…"

-----

Kakashi walked into a bar; today he was starting to feel a little better. He didn't need the cane like he usually did. He felt as though he was never injured, but he knew that wasn't the case. He still had headaches; still felt the pain with every heartbeat. He couldn't drown that out.

"I thought that I would find you here," Kakashi breathed as he walked up to a person in a robe. "It's been a week since anyone has seen your face in the village," he watched as the figure took another drink. "Since when do they let children your age drink?"

The figure took another sip. "What are you doing here…?"

"Looking for you," Kakashi breathed, sitting next to him. "I knew that I would find you somewhere with alcohol. You can't get rid of that habit can you?" he placed a hand on one of the figure's leather gloved ones. "Itachi," he breathed. "Are you alright?"

The glass hit the table as he looked over at the jounin. "How is the manifestation going? Is Sasuke alright?"

"Sasuke's fine," Kakashi answered as he looked into his old comrade's eyes. "Why do you ask? Are you worried about him?" he watched Itachi take another sip. "You are worried about him."

"No shit!" Itachi snapped as he slammed his drink down again. "I have been thinking about him ever since I left. I was thinking about him bleeding next to the river. I was thinking about the pain that he was going through. I didn't want that for him. I never wanted that for him. All I wanted was for him to be proud of himself, to unleash his potential. I wanted to find a safer way to awaken the power. I was searching for it, trying to find short cuts."

"Maybe there isn't a short cut," Kakashi answered.

Itachi looked down into his drink. "You know why I'm back. You're here to stop me, aren't you?" he tightened his fist. "Kakashi, you know damn well that I need that boy by my side. Not just for sex, for something more. I want to see the smile on his face when he does something right, I want to hear him laugh as he gets closer to surpassing me, I want to see the look of happiness in those eyes that are destined to be stronger than my own. I want too much…"

Kakashi watched as Itachi started to stand up. "You know, you aren't really like me when it comes to the way that you treat Sasuke. You might have left him when he needed you the most, but there's one difference between me and you," he watched as Itachi turned around to look at him. "You came back," he smiled beneath his mask. "You came back to him in the long run, and he will take you back, because he loves you. You weren't too much of a fool to see that."

Itachi walked out of the door, Kakashi starting to follow him. "I won't do what you did… stop comparing us."

"Itachi," Kakashi breathed. "You don't know why I left."

"You left the same reason why everyone else left. You got sick of me, you got sick of the fact that I was the way that I was," Itachi lowered his hood to look at Kakashi face to face. "Stop trying to act like you did it for any other reason."

Kakashi shook his head. "I loved you, Itachi, you know that. But the pain that you were going through, I knew that I was going to be the cause of only more of that pain. I didn't want to watch as you were destroyed because of me."

"If you love somebody, you'll let them go?" Itachi scoffed. "That's why you did all of that, because you thought letting me go would help everything. Well what do you think now? Are you proud of what I am?"

Kakashi nodded as he walked closer to him. "I am proud of what you've become. I'm glad to see that you have finally gotten your life together. You are a beautiful person, brilliant even. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise."

Itachi nodded as he looked into Kakashi's eyes. "I know that I am a better person than I was before. I now know that this was the way that I have to act. This is the way that I want to live my life. No more time for second guessing myself, no more time for thinking that I should be more callous. I know this is how I'm supposed to be for the rest of my life. This is the new me."

Kakashi moved to run his fingers through Itachi's long black hair. "I won't stand in your way. Go to Sasuke," he pressed his masked lips to Itachi's forehead. "Don't make him to insane with waiting."

Itachi nodded as he walked away from Kakashi, toward the direction of where his brother was. He was going to see him once more before this was all over. He wasn't going to let him leave his grasp this soon. He was going to win him back with all of his might. Just for one more day, he would love to see those obsidian eyes without tears plaguing them. Just for one more day.

-----

Sasuke took another sip of the alcohol that Itachi had left behind. It was like kissing him, it was how his breath tasted, burning his mouth to no end. He was trying to get rid of the pain that he was feeling whenever he saw his brother's face, trying to only see the love that they had. This wasn't going to be the way that he remembered him for the rest of his life. He was going to forget the pain that was caused.

Yet how could he? The pain was part of the reason why they were even still together. The hardships only made the other times look like they were glorious. He wanted that glory. He wanted that grace. He wanted that bliss. He closed his eyes as he remembered the orgasmic afterglow of the passion of their relationship. This wasn't the way that he wanted it to end.

"Itachi," he breathed before swallowing more alcohol. "Why am I still here while your out there in the world?" he took another sip. "Naruto would be so proud of me right now. I'm sitting on my bed drinking my brother's alcohol," he laughed half drunkenly as he put the bottle down.

He then heard a knock on the window, his eyes opening as he sat up in bed. He slowly made it to the window, opening it to see what it was. Was it just the wind or was it something more than that?

"Hello?" he asked as he looked out the open window. "Who is it?"

"Do I smell alcohol, little brother?" a voice as he as a hand touched Sasuke's; the darkness clearing it was Itachi. "Have you been drinking from my stash?"

Sasuke smiled lightly as he looked into his brother's eyes. "Brother," he moved his hand to make impact across his cheek with a smack. "Where the hell have you been for a week? I have been waiting forever for you to come back to me. Why did you leave?"

Itachi opened his mouth to speak. "I thought you were going to die…"

Sasuke closed his eyes. "Then why did you come back."

"Because," he stroked Sasuke's cheek. "I wanted to take my chances. I wanted to see you again," he kissed him lightly on the neck. "Sasuke… I missed you."

Sasuke pulled him off of his neck. "Come in," he breathed, watching his brother walking to the front of the house. His heart was racing as he moved to the front door, he stood behind the front door as it opened, his brother taking him into an embrace.

They kissed each other furiously as Itachi picked him off of the ground, the younger boy moaning into the kiss, his hands running through his ponytail. For too long he had gone without these feelings, without the electric sensations that Itachi's body gave him. He slid his tongue past Itachi's lips tasting the alcohol on his breath. He pressed his back up against the wall as he felt his brother separate from the kiss.

"Itachi," he breathed, his legs tightening around his waist. "I missed you so fucking much," he felt Itachi's tongue run along his pulse point. "I couldn't stop thinking about since the day that you left," he let out a low moan. "Itachi…"

Itachi kissed him one last time before he backed away. "I don't ever want to leave you again," he looked into Sasuke's eyes. "Come with me…"

Sasuke's eyes widened as he was put back on the ground. "Itachi?"

The older Uchiha smiled weakly. "You know what happened that day in the woods, you know about the power that you have unlocked, you know for a fact that it's going to advance. The mangekyou is stronger than you think it is," he kissed Sasuke's eye lid. "You've been trying to numb that pain, but I can make it go away. I can teach you everything that I know about this."

Sasuke closed is eyes. "I don't even know what this power is."

"There is nothing in Konoha that can help you, nothing is here but pain. This is where Naruto lies. This is where your journey started. This is where your friends are. I can make it so you never have to hurt them. I can make it so you can unleash your potential and never question your power."

Sasuke looked back at Itachi. "There were times where I was scared of you, times where I thought that you were going to leave me. I know now that I was just being an idiot. You were never trying to leave me," he took a deep breath. "And none of that matters, because you came back to me," he wrapped his arms around Itachi's body. "You came back…"

"I wasn't going to leave you forever," Itachi breathed, feeling his brother start to cry. "It's okay, it's okay, I'm here now, I'm here," he held onto him tighter. "I'm not going to let anything happen to you," he closed his eyes. "I promise that."

Sasuke buried his face in his shoulder. He knew now what he had to do. This is what he had wanted all long. This was his destiny. To unleash his potential and surpass Itachi, those were his new goals, there was only one way to do that. There was only one road left to walk. He took his hand as they stood up together, looking out the widow into the starry sky. This was their destiny.

-----

The front door to the Uchiha house opened as Kakashi walked through the doorway, Sakura right next to him. They had come to check up on him every night since the day that Naruto had been buried. This time they weren't met with tears they were met with silence.

"What do you think is wrong?" Sakura asked, walking farther into the house. "Sasuke?"

Kakashi's eyes widened. He didn't. He looked over at his student. "You check outside. I'll check the bedroom."

They broke off from one another, Kakashi moving toward the bedroom to see the door open. Slowly, he walked into the room to see what was inside. There was nothing. Sasuke was nowhere in sight. He walked closer to the bed hoping that Sasuke was still there somewhere inside of the house. His heart was slowing down as he found one thing: note folded up on the bed, the word Kakashi written on it. He opened the note, his fingers shaking as his skin constricted tightly, hugging his bones.

Kakashi, I know that you once told me that revenge would never solve anything, it would just make you feel empty on the inside. I'm taking that to heart. All of the lessons that you taught me showed me that if I didn't respect the people that I was working with I would never make it anywhere. I have found someone to respect.

I don't doubt that I love Itachi with everything that I have. I don't doubt that my world stopped on its axis while he was gone. It was all true; I could never kill Itachi because I was never strong enough to admit I was weak enough to give up my emotions. I'm going to do what Naruto wanted to do for me; I won't run from the path that I need to walk. This is where I belong with Itachi.

I will always remember you and everything that you did; I will also always remember Sakura as well. You two made me realize how wrong I was for four years. Thank you for opening my eyes. Thank you for bringing me to my path: Itachi.

-Sasuke Uchiha

Kakashi closed his eyes as he finished reading the note. "You finally found your way. You finally found where you were supposed to be. I'm proud of both of you."

Sakura ran through the door. "I didn't see him anywhere…"

Kakashi was silent.

"Sensei, what's wrong?" she walked closer. "Where's Sasuke?"

Kakashi looked back at her. "In a better place," she looked at him confusedly.

He closed his eyes seeing them right before his eyes, with the curse of the swollen obsidian eyes gone from their faces. They had finally found where they were supposed to be. They had finally wiped away their tears. But they would always be known as they were while they were in each other arms with swollen obsidian eyes.


Author's Note: This was the ending of Swollen Obsidian Eyes, the last chapter of the forty-three chapter monster, and I made my goal by ending on Sasuke's birthday July 23. I want to thank everyone for all of the support that you have given me. This was really fun for me. I also want to thank all of the people who gave me tips to improve, I'll keep that in mind for the next story that I write. As for a sequeal I don't know if that will be happening, but I wouldn't completely rule it out. Once again, I made it onto sixty favorites lists and thirty-four alert lists, thanks for all of that support. This story wouldn't have been the same without all of you to enjoy it. So what did you think? Good? Bad? Think that this story didn't come to a real close? Honesty is always my policy. I looks forward to seeing all of you in the future of my ItaSasu writing career. Thank you all one last time.