A/N: Yay! My first Itachi-kun fic! This is my first Naruto fic, but I actually have liked the series for a while now, I just haven't gotten around to finishing any of the ideas I had for it. In fact, I hadn't even had this written down as an idea—I was merely thinking of "dreams." Of course, it morphed into this and the original idea was lost nearly completely. In fact, this was supposed to be mostly about Itachi, but ended up focusing heavily on Sasuke-chan. Go figure. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, and I'm not making any money off this

Ratings: G

Genre: Angst/Family

Warnings: Nothing really. Very slight hints at a spoiler that everyone already knows. . .

Main Characters: Uchiha Itachi-sama

Additional Notes: Yeah. . . Not quite what I was going for, but it's not too bad. I think. Written at 1:30 AM, so please forgive any lack of coherency.


Reflection

Itachi had never wanted this. He leaned back against the tree, one leg dangling off the branch, his fingers twisting in the small leaves and twigs within his reach. It was a sakura tree in full bloom, and the blossoms drifted lazily in the pull of gravity. He sighed, closing his eyes. He had never wanted this. He could fell the cool press of his hitai-ate on his warm forehead; he would have been grateful for the relief from the heat but for the weight it forced him to bear. Below him, calm water lapped languidly against the roots of his tree and, were he to open his eyes, his reflection would be clear, save for the few ripples as the wind danced across the surface. He hated it, his reflection. He saw it everywhere—and in one person particularly. He saw himself clearly in Sasuke, and it killed him. He had not wished it on his brother; if he was honest with himself, it was the reason he had killed the clan. Even back then, he could see Sasuke behind him, like a kitten jumping from one foot print to another in the deep snow. That was not a fate he wished for his brother, and he was well aware that he would be the only one that would ever do anything to free the child from the bonds of clan life—something he himself was too ensnared in to ever truly be free of. He knew early on that Sasuke would not be able to cope with the pressure of both his shadow and the clan name. And so he bled the wound to remove the pressure.

Of course, Sasuke had never understood this, could never understand it. And he was fine with that. However, his plan had not worked; Sasuke had all but thrown himself down the rocky path—and Itachi was certain that he would not reach the end unscathed, if at all—he, himself, hadn't. He could have beaten himself up over his gross miscalculation, but he knew that it would do little good to either of them, and so he saw no use in it. Instead, he had kept his distance and hoped that Sasuke would eventually give up, or find something more constructive to occupy his time with. He hadn't. It had made Itachi furious to see his brother so much like himself (for all that Sasuke denied it, it was blatantly obvious), though he was careful not to show it. He had attempted to send a warning with the Tsukuyomi. If only his brother hadn't been so thick-headed and had actually thought logically and objectively about the situation he was creating for himself, he would have seen it. Sadly, such things had never really been Sasuke's strong points, at least when dealing with Itachi. Itachi cursed the fact that his brother was so set in his ways, in his foolish vow to avenge a dead clan, that he was blind to anything else. It really was rather troublesome.

There was little left Itachi could think to do. He could easily see the possible outcomes, and none of them ended well for anyone—even a death would not solve the problem. Or stop the pain. Nor would Sasuke ever understand, ever see why.

It wasn't as though Itachi had woken up one morning and decided on a whim to kill the clan. No, he had planned it, had waited for it. He had had enough. Enough of the pressure, enough of the expectations—he was not one to complain, but their demands were ridiculous. He hadn't had much of a childhood, and his only regret was that Sasuke was never allowed one, either. Sasuke had never understood what the clan had been doing to him. He never saw that he was becoming a mindless weapon. By the time Itachi had realized what had been done, it was too late for him—he was already a weapon with a taste for blood—but there was still hope for Sasuke. Still some light left untainted. But he had failed. It was his only regret, that he had failed to save his brother from his fate as a reflection.

He opened his eyes, the Mangekyou Sharingan swirling slowly and stared at his reflection. "I'm sorry, otouto. I have failed you."

He had never wanted this.


Owari


A/N: I love Itachi-kun! And wow, this was short. I hope it was passable; it's my first Naruto fic. Please let me know; review!