A/N Okay. Yup, it became a 30 Kisses drabble-fic challenge. Oh well. So, this is number three for it. Well, enjoy!

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

Ratings: G

Genre: General

Warnings: Nothing, really. . .

Main Characters: Yuuhi Kurenai, Uchiha Itachi

Themes: our own world (二人の世界)

Additional Notes: . . .Nothin' to say.

Katayaburi no Ai

Under A Red Sky—

It somehow became a sort of twisted tradition, their meeting in the clearing. Every week, on Friday—though how they both managed to arrange an empty evening was beyond them. It was strange—it was an unspoken but somehow entirely understood agreement between them that they would meet. Kurenai wasn't sure how it had come to that—she figured it had been something in his eyes that drew her back each time. And after the second time, they were always black for her. As for Itachi, she hadn't a clue why he continued to see her. It was almost flattering, in a terrifying way. Each Friday she would wait, fear and anticipation burning through her veins and making her fidgety and nervous. He would come after her, normally—silent, no more than a shadow between the trees. Their meetings were sometimes quiet, and sometimes they merely talked of things—though never of business. Just little things. And so it went for nearly a month before the status quo changed.

Uchiha Itachi was nothing if not efficient Kurenai had learned early on. However, he seemed to have an air about him, concerning her—he seemed more . . . playful, she supposed. Like a cat with a mouse. Yes, that was it—the perfect analogy for them. She was well aware that he could probably kill her without much effort on his part, and yet he did not. It was an odd feeling, though, to be wary of one so much younger than herself, but she had learned after their first encounter that he was not one to be taken lightly. He was someone who demanded respect, though she doubted he really cared if it was given or not. He was an enigma to her, and so she always returned. As it was, something was different this time. The aura of playfulness was gone, replaced by that of cold sincerity. He said nothing. And then she noticed—his sharingan was activated, blood red and spinning lazily. There was no time to even draw another breath before she felt the world melt away.

The colors twisted, swirling together and fading to red and black, a smoke-cloud sky on crimson. She found quickly that she could not move. This was the Uchiha's world, and she was no more than a prisoner in its confines. The land, barren and bleak, stretched out unfathomably in every direction. It was completely empty and she could sense nothing, smell nothing, feel nothing. She was terrified. For the first time in a long time she felt completely helpless. Nothing was in her control at this point, and she was painfully aware of the fact. Had she been a lesser woman, she would have cried. And beneath it all, had she taken the time to notice it, she would have realized his betrayal hurt—she had trusted him. Then, it changed. The scenery began to shape itself, dyeing itself with greens and browns and such, though the memory of red still remained. Trees, grass, rocks—forming the almost perfect copy of the grotto—their grotto. And then he was there as well, standing in the center with the familiar look of indifference. It was a moment before she realized that she could move once more. She knew it was hopeless—in this place where even the scenery obeyed him—but she sank into a fighting stance, her hands ready to form the seals at any hint of attack.

He merely watched her, an air of mild curiosity to his gaze. "I'm not going to hurt you."

Her eyes narrowed. "What did you do?" she hissed.

"This is my technique. This is the Tsukuyomi. I control everything here."

"Then why should I believe you won't hurt me?"

A ghost of a smile crossed his face. "Because I have no reason to. I merely wanted to talk in private, and I cannot think of a more private place than this."

She was still hesitant, the fear lingering, though she slowly dropped the stance. "Talk about what?"

"About our meetings," he replied as he settled himself on a stump—it was then that Kurenai noticed the stump beside her and cautiously took her own seat. "Is this going to continue, Kurenai-san?" The question took her by surprise and she blinked, her mouth opening and closing with no sound; he continued. "I rather enjoy them, but it is a risk, to meet so near Konohagakure when I cannot even be certain you will show."

He had a point, she supposed. She swallowed, finally trusting herself to speak properly. "Then perhaps we should set a day, Itachi-san." His eyes were piercing. She could not help shrugging awkwardly and looking away.

"Yes. Yes, that does sound rather sensible." She turned to see a thin smile on those lips—not the usual smirk for once, but something softer. She smiled in return. "How about . . . every other Friday afternoon?"

"Why not every week?"

He shook his head. "The pattern would be too easily noticed. We must be discreet. After all, we risk death, even with a simple conversation such as this."

Kurenai swallowed, the sudden reality sinking in. She looked away once more, her crimson eyes finding a small stream flowing through the trees a short ways away. The water seemed almost too bright, too clean and she shuddered, hugging herself. Her eyes followed its progress until it disappeared between thick bushes and towering trees that reached to the red-hued sky. She wondered distantly if there was even anything that existed past that point. As it was, all was silent. There was no wind, no smell, and no animals. No birdsong or crackling leaves. She closed her eyes, swallowing dryly. This was truly unnatural.

"Do you still wish to see me, Kurenai-san?" Her eyes flew open to see Itachi leaning close to her again; she had not even heard his approach this time.


"Do you still wish to see me, Kurenai-san?" he repeated steadily, his gaze never once wavering from hers. "I understand if you do not. It is dangerous and there is a steep price to be paid if we are caught."

His words sparked something in her, some change that she could not clearly name, and she straightened; a determined frown set itself on her features and her eyes narrowed into his. "I'm not afraid."

Finally, his familiar smirk returned as he captured her lips, the world melting into red and black. "Good."


A/N: Okay. . . I'm not as happy with this one. I'm not sure why. . . Ugh, sometimes I hate dialogue. . . Tell me what you think—review!