Hope you enjoy this!
This chapter has undergone a MAJOR EDIT (1/29/2014).
Why now, Sasuke asked herself. Why was she feeling such regret now? This had been her goal for so long. She had put everything else aside, had sacrificed things she shouldn't have sacrificed,and even betrayed her village. Konoha was the only home she knew until she could no longer identify it as such because her world had turned so drastically hideous by the darkness that gripped her. She had trained just for this day, and it finally came.
Itachi was finally dead.
BUT WHY WAS SHE REGRETTING!?
The feeling was clawing away at her insides, reducing them to nothingness and filling her up with a nasty air.
And just then she realized, maybe she had not wanted him dead at all. Maybe, she never truly hated him. That's right. She loved him, love him far too much. That was a flaw she'd always had, one she never wanted to admit in the last years but deep down she had probably always known. He had told her to hate him. And she did. She had poured out every ounce of hatred for him because she loved him. Her hate was actually her love twisted into some unrecognizable thing that refused to unattach itself from her until now.
Now that he was gone, what was there for her to hate or love? Her existence had revolved around him, only him and nothing else. He had been her aim, her drive. He had been the one in both her nightmares and dream. He'd created destruction in her, planted the seeds of a deep-rooted terror, the one that gave her the non-physical pain that kept her wide awake during so many nights.
Directly and indirectly, he was the one that made her keep living all these years.
A long, long time ago, or maybe not that long, but still long ago, he had been the one who had given her true joy. That joy came hand-in-hand with a disappointment that had always been subdued by the vast blind hope she'd had for the possibility of spending time with him on an unspecified time and day. He had brought out the most smiles and frowns of her early childhood. The memory of those days was still fresh in her mind, as if many years had not gone by.
He had been everything to her. He cannot die.
Please don't die.
But Itachi was already dead. And shaking his body and screaming his name a thousand times was never going to bring him back to life.
"Please. Wake up. Itachi." Her voice was weak and trembling. In both her mind and heart she knew her words were uttered in vain.
Then she cried. Briefly feeling the warmth of sliding tears on her cheeks, the rain washed them away. She watched him. His eyes were still open, black, not red. His gaze was so lifeless.
He had never looked so beautiful before, with his mouth slightly open, and the locks of the drenched ebony hair pasted on his pale, but lightly tanned skinned.
"Aniki" When was the last time she said that word? How long had it been since she had uttered something so fondly? It had been too long a time, and it broke her heart into even tinier pieces at the knowledge that it would be the last time.
She always thought killing him was impossible though she always told herself, and everybody else, otherwise. It was hard to believe even though he was already dead now.
All of a sudden she decieded that she should die to. She wanted to and was at peace at the thought. She had not quite abandoned the thought of reviving her clan, but it wasn't nor had it ever been as important as bringing down Itachi.
Death was calling out to her. She was very tired. There was no desire or interest in her to look for another goal or intention. Death was fitting. She was still young, maybe too young. Or not. That depended on a person's point of view. In her opinion fifteen was old enough. Still young, yes, but old enough.
The last Uchiha should die.
She was injured enough. She surveyed the area with only her eyes as she asked herself if she should she wait or if she should do the deed herself. There were a lot of kunai available, scattered across the field in violent disarray, and one was in perfect reach of her right hand if she fully extended her arm.
Her vision started to become blurry and she didn't bother to regain it. A weak smile present, she grasped his hand that was as cold as stone and soon would become as hard. She rested her head on his chest, empty of all feeling. She would never let go of the hand, and imagined it holding hers back.
Her eyelids were becoming heavy.
"I didn't want you to die." Such thoughts. Such contradiction to what she had been saying before this day. And she was saying this now? When it was finally too late? It didn't seem fair. How could she have only realized it now? She was such a fool.
"But…" Her blurry gaze was set on her sword laying a few feet from them, washed clean of her brothers blood and gleaming with silent pride. "did you… really want me to kill you?"
Of course, there was no answer. She still had so many questions, and they would never be answered by anyone.
Death was near. They would be together again, hopefully in a place of solace.
If she was still crying she was too physically and emotionally numb to care. She could hardly feel the hand she held or the clothes that touched her skin, or even the rain that poured down on them. The world was gradually becoming mute of color and sound.
Her mouth opened to say something, but darkness came sooner than the words.
Sasuke jerked awake on her bed, cold and sweating, with eyes wide and heart pumping with fear. A dream? Was Itachi really dead? The room spun almost nauseatingly, she could hardly make out anything. Still, there was something that brought a sense of familiarity and comfort that subdued the anxiousness she was feeling.
Dismissing the dizziness, she climbed out of bed and felt cool air touch her warm body as the blanket slipped away away from her and her bare feet touched the wooden floor.
The little sunlight that streamed in from the split in the shuttered window told her it was morning. The minute she slid the door open, a warm aroma of food filled her nostrils. She was shocked once she fully realized where she was.
The long hallway was unlit as she wobbled her way through, passing several identical sliding doors left and right. The sensation of floating in a dream wrapped around her mind as she turned the corner to the stairs. She went down slowly.
Faint, new sounds drifted to her ears. Some movement, and brief, muffled voices. As soon as she arrived on the landing, Sasuke spotted the doors where the sounds came from. The familiar aroma intensified as she went nearer and nearer to her destination although she still could not quite gather her thoughts properly to name them.
The sliding double doors was in front of her, their upper halfves white, the bottom a dark shade of blue. Several cranes decorated them beautifully and normally Sasuke would have admired the simplicity of the artistry, but this was no time to spend on admiring the furnishings of the house.
The last memory she remembered before awaking on a bed she hadn't sleep on for years was on a wet battlefield and she was dying. And the situation she was in now was vastly far from it. Anxiousness and dread made her hand tremble as she reached for the door handle.
The last time she had entered through this door was when she was seven years old. Now as she slid it open it felt a lot lighter than before and she nearly fell over when she opened it with too much force.
The dining room was smaller than she remembered. Sunlight streamed in from the large windows and she had to squint as her eyes adjusted to it.
The two dark-haired figures sat opposite each other on the table, and they both turned their heads just slightly towards her as soon as the door slammed onto the doorframe. Two pairs of eyes remained impassive even as Sasuke read the silent reprimand they directed at her, and for a strange moment, she felt guilt for her actions.
"Oi. Not so loud in the morning," said the short haired one as he turn his attention back to sketching with a pencil on his large, thick pad.
"You should learn to be more hushed, Sasuke. If father was here you would get scolded." And then the pony-tailed long haired one turned back to polishing weapons that looked like they did not even need polishing at all.
"I'm sorry," she started to say automatically, but caught herself and gaped at the two. What the hell is going on?
A nauseus feeling struck her and made her knees start to buckle. She had to lean most of her weight on the doorframe to keep herself from nearly falling over again. All process of thinking suddenly stopped working and she was completely speechless as a figure came in trough the doorless opening that she knew connected to the kitchen. A beautiful woman in her early forties smiled her way, walking over to and placing several dishes on the table.
"Oh, good morning, Sasuke. I'm surprised you're awake. I thought you would sleep in until noon since you came in late from your mission yesterday."
The Uchiha Mikoto in Sasuke's memory looked younger. The last time the woman was in front of her was on the bloody night of a massacre.
"…" Was she still dreaming? She made a small sound of disbelief as her knees suddenly became weak again and she slid down a little to the floor. Her body trembled. Everything started spinning again; she barely registered Itachi and the other one's attention direct back to her.
"What is wrong, dear?" Mikoto took a few tentative steps over to her daughter who looked paler than usual and appeared to be grappling with consciousness. In her peripheral vision she subtly noticed her sons shift and drop what they were occupied with, already prepared to act if necessary. They tried not to be obvious of their worries, but they were. Her sons always had a difficulty expressing their feelings. But now wasn't the time to dwell on that thought.
Sasuke's body slackened as she lost strength. Her battle with awareness was a complete loss. Before blacking out completely, she dimly heard her mother cry out her name.