disclaimer; naruto. fuji does not own.

red slippers ; PG - gen/angst - Itachi x Shisui

They caught each other's gaze.

Shisui folded his arms, it was only the ocean aside them, between them. Making noises no symphony could recreate, mimic, comprehension of another life. Itachi thinks once Shisui's hair wasn't so short, nor was his grin so broad. "You're not going to call out to me?"

Broken glass, smooth, smooth.

Itachi had no intention, there was no meaning to, because Itachi knew that Shisui knew- "This is an illusion, right?" (The cry of a crane, to strangle the neck, the heart, the song of misery.)

Saying useless things, pointless things, was never Shisui's style, pointed, accurate, subtle, meaningfully carving a hole into- (Itachi knows, knows that whatever useless word, phrase, sentence, that comes from his cousin's mouth is not useless at all, rather they are something to not linger or reflect on, but only to be aware of.) Be aware of how Shisui's words do not match his eyes. Knowing. The white of his arms, Itachi remembers them stock still over him, thin lines of red, as blood dripped from them. Not even wasting breath to tell him to do something he could not, Shisui had taken the blow for him because Itachi was not slow, but because Shisui was just fast. The sword had slid too quickly into the shoulder and Itachi's mind became white and black in that moment.

Faster.

He could never be- to this person, whose body flicker was unrivaled since the years the Yellow Flash still breathed, only in those days he had been told about. And he did not know, why it was that Shisui did not have to hear about thse days, years. He did not know why his cousin seemed only a few years his senior yet remained fathomly older and younger all at once, he did not want to know.

And Shisui did not tell him either. Did not let one word slip (red slipper, place your feet within, gain desire and accomplishment) the shore looked red from the sun and the sky. Shisui's gaze breaks from his within this world, this reality Itachi has created (he will never know, how Shisui's was a cheerful monochrome, it lashed out and held your ankles and bid you to only move, to only dance to the perculiar tunes that your head would make in the silence) Shisui does not move his feet here. He knew.

Yet.

A sigh and hand to his brow, tilting head, throat as white, Itachi remembers seeing red there once too, darker white. Remembers pressing his lips there and hearing that same sigh. He does not look away from the overcast of the sky he predicted, tense all over; ready to be baptised in the very secret of- "You know."

Ending sentence, only beginning, he looks over at Shisui too sharply when his cousin continues, still that tilt of the head, Shisui's hair was so short now, Itachi could see his ears, barely cut down to any thing but useless curling locks that Itachi could barely fumble his fingers against, at that time- pressing Shisui against a wisteria tree had not been enough to calm, to rise the tide in the midst of a storm, fuming and almost confused by (ignorance). Even with no wind, dark fluttering hair would have suited him better. This man who was called a mirage. And Shisui is looking more directly at the sky than at Itachi, but it is not infuriating. It is taxing. A finger to his lips as if extracting from mere thought. (No feeling at all.)

"Usually it goes that if you show me yours, I'll show you mine." This reality Itachi made, but one made by Shisui-

"But it turns out-"

(You don't want to see it.)

And Shisui takes a step, ankle cold, another step. The other ankle colder, all the way he takes steps, a deeper cold rising over his body until he is inches from Itachi, the cold but to his eyes. His hands hung at his sides, as if it were unnessecary to lift them, for Itachi is not going any where. And Shisui leans forward. (To give a kiss.)

Drowning.

Itachi didn't feel cold at all when he stepped up gradually from the depths of the river. Only burned as he thought how the bank was not steep enough.

(From then on the reality Shisui made was in full colour.)

And Itachi could see it.

He only replies, (the slippers are too tight.)

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