In The Not-So Safe Arms of Itachi

Title: In the Not-So Safe Arms of Itachi

Author: BelieveIt

Pairing: ItaNaru, SasuNaru (Later Chapters)

Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto.

Summary: When Sasuke suddenly leaves Konoha Naruto is distraught, he tries to find comfort thinking that Sasuke will one day return. After a long period of time Sasuke still has not returned and Naruto starts to lose hope. One day when Naruto sets off wondering when he catches a glimpse of what he thinks is Sasuke, but once he follows the boy he finds out that it is not Sasuke after all but Itachi. Naruto strangely enough finds comfort in seeing such a close resemblance in Itachi, even though it was Itachi who made Sasuke leave. Naruto tries to get close to Itachi in secret, Naruto hopes that he can be happy again with the Sasuke look-alike. After Countless of times of Narutos' pointlessly trying Itachi starts to get irritated, so he makes a deal with the young boy, if Naruto can defeat him in a battle then him and Naruto may become friends, but if he wins then Naruto must die. Will Naruto take the deal? What will happen if he does? Will he win or face his death? Will Sasuke ever come back to Konoha?

In The Not-So Safe Arms of Itachi Chapter Twenty Four

Naruto watched in defeat as Itachi walked towards him, feeling certain that he knew what Itachi was here for, the Kyuubi. The cloak was the biggest clue, as it meant that he was dressed for a mission, not for leisure. Naruto briefly wondered where Kisame was, but soon decided that he'd be nearby, waiting for a signal if he were to be needed. After all, their trick was to lure him into a false sense of security; make him believe that Itachi had changed his mind and was here to take him back with him. In Naruto's mind the note Itachi left with Sasuke suddenly made sense. To make him think Itachi cared for him, so he wouldn't be suspicious when he turned up, it was perfectly logical. He felt oddly betrayed by this even though he really should have expected this. What did he honestly expect, Itachi to hold these deep feeling of love inside him? Naruto mentally scoffed at the very idea. 'Get real' Naruto thought to himself. Itachi was a part of a criminal organization, specifically hunting people with demons locked away inside their bodies, waiting to extract them which would end up inevitably killing the host.

Even though he already felt defeated he felt the need to prepare himself for a battle brewing inside of him, needing to defend himself against the Akatsuki – against Itachi – but still he found that he couldn't. Despite his will to live, he just couldn't fight Itachi, not again. As Itachi continued to walk closer, Naruto found himself starting to give in to his undeniable fate – he began to think about the plus side of being captured and killed by the Akatsuki. He wouldn't have to live with the Kyuubi, and he wouldn't be around to see the devastation it would cause to his village, his friends. And, if he was honest, if anyone was going to kill him for the Kyuubi, he'd rather it was the Akatsuki than anyone else.

He stopped his thoughts in their tracks abruptly. This wasn't like him. He was stronger than this. He wouldn't just give in to the Akatsuki, not after all he's been through. He's been through hell and back, he should be able to do anything by now. He couldn't let the beast inside of him destroy everything he'd ever known or cared about; destroy him – that would be like letting them win. The last thing he wanted to do was fight Itachi, but he knew in his heart that he had to, to keep himself alive and to prove that he was not weak and never would be. If he died he would go down fighting.

Naruto tensed, shifting stance slightly, reaching inside of himself and pulling out all the teachings he had learned from Kakashi. Finding the perfect balance he was now ready to fight, he braced himself for what would ultimately be the fight of his life.

Itachi noticed the change of stance within Naruto but didn't allow it to stop or slow him down; he just kept on walking calmly towards him, with no emotion whatsoever on his face. Naruto, of course, knew Itachi thought he was no match for him, that Naruto was not physically strong enough to beat him. Even the usually head-strong Naruto himself doubted his ability to fight against Itachi; he hadn't had the training and years of experience Itachi had, but he just knew he had to try with everything he had, for his own peace of mind, so he would know that he did the best he could. Before they began their fight, however, Naruto wanted to know just one last thing. It was the one question that plagued his mind continuously since he came back to Konoha.

"Did I ever matter to you?"

Itachi didn't answer, just kept walking. Naruto felt his heart shatter like fragile glass. There was an answer within that silence. He'd been wrong. So wrong to believe that Itachi cared, even a little bit. Naruto watched Itachi carefully and noticed something peculiar, something he should have noticed sooner. Instead of his usual style of fighting, Itachi seemed to be expecting to walk right up to him and grab him. There was no build up of chakra, and he hadn't even activated his Sharingan, which was extremely unusual. Did he really think it would be that easy?

Itachi was only a couple of feet away from him and still moving closer. Naruto started to feel nervous, now unsure of what was going to happen. In the blink of an eye Itachi was standing right there, in front of him.

Silently Itachi reached up, pulled his cloak open further and dropped it from his shoulders. The silky cloak whispered sweetly as it fell to the floor.

As his cloak pooled around his feet, he wordlessly reached for Naruto, who squeezed his eyes shut scared, and brought him slowly into a tender embrace.

Naruto froze in an overwhelming sense of shock, his body rigid in Itachi's arms. Whatever he had been expecting Itachi to do, it certainly wasn't this. He could feel the heat of Itachi's body against his own, his arms wrapped tightly around his back. The light pressure on top of his head told him that Itachi had his cheek resting gently against his hair. It was so tempting to succumb to the embrace, but he couldn't overcome his doubts just yet. What if this was just a clever trick, another ploy to capture him?

"I've come straight from a mission, I couldn't wait." Itachi murmured into Naruto's hair. There was silence between the two, Naruto still rigid against Itachi's body. "I came alone, Naruto. Kisame is on his way to the hideout."

After hearing that last sentence, that there was no one but Itachi here, Naruto visibly relaxed and tentatively returned the embrace. When nothing happened Naruto gripped onto the back of Itachi's shirt hard, until his knuckles went white with the strain. His heart was being reformed, into something stronger. Naruto started to shake, too many emotions building up inside of him at once; relief, disbelief, shock, happiness... love.

Hang on! Love? Did he really feel that way for Itachi? Yes, he decided. He loved Itachi.

They stayed in the embrace for what seemed like hours but was actually only minutes. Even though they didn't know it, they both felt utterly complete together. This is right where they belonged. In each other's arms. Naruto never wanted to let go, not even for a second. Naruto looked up from Itachi's chest into Itachi's face, hoping Itachi would look down at him and kiss him. When he didn't, when Itachi just kept his cheek to his hair, he buried his face back into his warm chest, listening to the beating of Itachi's heart. Itachi suddenly lifted his head off Naruto's head.

"Come back with me." It was at those words that Naruto finally stepped out of the embrace and backed up a step, shocked for the second time that evening. His dream was coming true. He was being allowed to go back. To his home. Konoha wasn't home anymore. Not to him. His home is wherever Itachi is. With or without the Akatsuki being involved.

Reality kicked in. He can't leave. He's been back in Konoha only a matter of days. What was he supposed to say to those he cared for? Especially Iruka, he was worrying enough about him as it was. He couldn't just disappear. His heart sunk in despair, the dream he's longed for couldn't come true. Not yet. Was he ever supposed to have his happy ending?

"I can't" Naruto choked out, already on the verge of tears. "I can't leave now. I've only just got here." Itachi was stunned. He'd been so sure Naruto would have jumped at the chance, he was sure this was what Naruto wanted. The rejection put an ache in his chest. Itachi forced himself to think about the words Naruto had just spoken and realised he understood his reasoning's. He did have other elements to take into account. Such as he can't just up and leave without a word, people cared about him here. This was, after all, still technically his home. Thinking back on the exact words Naruto had said, he realised that Naruto had said he can't leave now. Meaning he wanted to come with him. Just couldn't right now. It's too abrupt.

"I understand. I will come and see you when I can and when you are ready, we will leave together." Itachi wrapped his arms around Naruto again, providing him with the comfort he was sure Naruto needed.

Naruto looked up at Itachi, tears shining like beautiful crystals in his eyes. "Thank you" Naruto whispered, swallowing the lump that was in his throat. "Thank you so much for understanding." Naruto gripped Itachi tighter.

Itachi looked down at Naruto, a soft expression that wasn't there before on his face. "There is nothing I wouldn't try to understand for you, nothing I wouldn't accept, even if I didn't understand it. You're mine now Naruto. My Naruto, I hope you are okay with that, because there's nothing you can do to change it."

Naruto ran his hands up Itachi's back until he gripped his long silky hair softly, bringing Itachi's head down so he could whisper into his ear.

"I am more than okay with that. Never in my life have I been more okay." Naruto manipulated Itachi's head so they were face to face and then Naruto leaned in slowly and softly pressed his lips against the other's. A beautiful, indescribable feeling washed over them both, leaving them breathless in its wake.

A/N: Hello everyone! BelieveIt is back! I am incredibly sorry for the wait. I really have no excuse, but I am back now with a vengeance. I hope you like this chapter, I have worked really hard to get this chapter perfect, to make up for the time you've all had to wait. I would like to thank my very good friend Homesweethomicide13, who spent a lot of time with me, helping me and proofreading. I would also like to thank those who have been patient with me and reviewed my last chapter; I always appreciate them so much. Anyway now that I'm back, I will have the next chapter up as soon as I can. Which will be soon, because I'm on a roll :P. Anyway I hope you all like it; I look forward to hearing your thoughts about this chapter. Oh and sorry it is a little short.

BelieveIt xx