Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.

Tainted by Death, Tinted with Blood
By Silver Sailor Ganymede

Mikoto was worried about her eldest son. She had always worried about him, ever since her husband had realised just how powerful he could become and began to push him endlessly. The boy had been pushed constantly to become more and more powerful, to become the best, to become the strongest ninja in the whole of Konoha other than the Hokage himself.

Mikoto knew that people could only be stretched so far before they snapped and her eldest son, prodigy though he undoubtedly was, was no exception to that rule. He had been forced to grow up too quickly, far too quickly. He was thirteen years old, only thirteen, and already his hands, as well as his eyes, were stained by blood.

She did not often like to gaze upon her eldest child. He was tainted by grave's dust, death ever-present at his side: he even looked far older than his years. His eyes were not those of a child – then again she didn't know if they ever had been that way.

Itachi was tainted, that much Mikoto knew, but what she never could have realised was that his hands would soon be tinted red by not only the blood of strangers but with the blood of his own kin.

A soul tainted by death and tinted with blood can never be purified again.