dans les morceaux
(in the pieces) we find the blank canvas
a fanfiction written by dreamsofdestiny and moonmagicks in a collaborative work in which the characters used belong to masashi kishimoto, shonen jump, and respective copyright owners. this is a work of fandom and hence has no materialistic benefit towards it. moreso, there will be wild and unbelievable pairings and scenarios in which the collaborated authors wish to say will include sexual innuendo, incestuous themes, physical and mental torture, and of course crude/vulgar humor. please beware and note the rating is there for a reason.
Her eyes are complacent. So white and bland and blank. Like a clean canvas, simply waiting to be painted upon. This is what he thought the first time he met her. It was at the classic large clan celebration. Lights and dancers and sake and fireworks, his little brother was celebrating his fifth birthday. His father was convinced into having an actual celebration while his mother managed to persuade the Hyuuga clan to come over. It was strange, because never before had he had any contact with the clan other than the usual ANBU missions and reportings. Their faces were always covered by the mask and because of it, it never occurred to him they might be so white. And of course, the little girl's eyes were the whitest.
He was only ten, but he already he knew what violation meant.
It would have been rushed and not at all intelligent to say he was in love with the girl, but he was most certainly...enthralled by her eyes. Everything else was ordinary at best, but her eyes...they were like pearls, able to be lost whilst gazing in the milky surface from outside, but on the inside, able to see everything and anything. Itachi sneered; the girl was the runt of the pack, wouldn't make it to chuunin, much less jounin, and would be a failure. It was obvious.
But those eyes...they were something different altogether. And while he didn't want or even need a lot, the small amount he did want, he got. And what Uchiha Itachi wanted at age ten was Hyuuga Hinata.
She would be his blank canvas, perfect to shape into whatever he desired. And he, he would be the painter, the creator of an art that would surpass the nowaday sculptures and fireworks. Something that would be...beautiful.
She's ten, he's fifteen. A criminal, feared by all, accepted by only the creme de la creme in the criminal ranks. He's killed off everyone in his pathetic clan: too weak, too scared of true power, unable to understand that in order to get something great, something must be sacrificed. In this case, it's blood. A large quantity of blood, but what's a couple bodies, more or less? All that's left if Sasuke, and he's simply a disappointment. There's no point in the boy staying alive, however, Uchiha Itachi knows when to stop following a trail, and when to give up on something. His little brother is no longer a family member. Not anymore.
Apparently, after a couple years, some people in Konoha still are not informed about him and his facial expressions. The guards to the Hyuuga manor were child's play to bypass; 360 degree vision or not. And when he landed with a soft 'thump' in her room, she looked at him with only the most natural surprise. There was no fear, and there was still the ever-so-white eyes.
"Do you know who I am?" He was to-the-point; there wasn't much time to waste in the first place.
"Um...no..." And she hung her head, ashamed, and honestly, he thought it was disgusting. If she didn't have those eyes, if she wasn't such a clean slate, he wouldn't have continued, but she was and he was an artist, and so he plodded forward.
"I am Itachi." And he waited for the horror of his name to sink in. However it never came. She simply lifted, and then tilted her head to the side, looking at him as if he should give some more solid descriptions. He didn't bother; disregarding it as yet another one of the village stupidities. When he was ten, he was never so uninformed, why, he had memorized all the criminals and could flawlessly list them in alphabetical order if necessary.
But right now, all he needed to do was get her out of here. Easy.
"You are...Hyuuga Hinata, no?" He extended a hand to touch her navy-blue locks, chopped raggedly short. That wouldn't do; he would make certain that her hair wouldn't be cut when she was his. She nodded once, a barely discernable motion. The one thing redeeming her was the fact she did not flinch at all when he took a portion of her hair. She didn't flinch when the hair brushed against her cheeks. She didn't flinch when slowly, slowly, his hands moved away, releasing the strands of night sky one by one.
That was admirable.
With no beforehand warning the withdrawn hand reached out once more, this time with lightning speed. A small tap to her temple was all it took for the girl to crumple forward. He shouldered her in such a manner that she wouldn't bruise and yet wouldn't noticeably slow him down.
He left the grounds of the Hyuuga manor in such the manner he had came in. Itachi went undetected by all the guards and as he increased his speed due to the fact Konoha borders were nearing, he wondered if such a slate was really worth all the trouble. For an heiress, even, she should have had one constant guard in her room at least. He would make certain to do that when they arrived.
She probably wouldn't wake up until hours later. More than enough time for him to replan and recheck what he was going to do, how he was going to give the first coat, the first stroke on the canvas. A beautiful, untouched blank canvas, just waiting to be violated. In five hours, it would be discovered missing. In ten hours, the entire Fire Nation would have been searched. In a month, she would be replaced. In a year, she would be forgotten. After all, she was merely a blank slate.
Something to paint upon.
Something to defile.
Something to break in pieces again and again.
Hinata was a good girl. Hinata was always the people-pleaser: quiet, timid, and ever-so-desperate for some form of affection or acknowledgement of her existence. Naruto was the boy who had given her courage, he was her shining star, the driving force behind everything she did. She was still too shy to speak to him, even look him in the eye, but she was getting better. Just yesterday, she had spoke a full conversation with Neji-nii, and the week before she had tied with Hanabi in a sparring round. She was improving, all because of him.
"Naruto...kun..." she murmured in her sleep. Itachi stared impassively ahead. He knew full-well who the name was attached to and what the person did, but had not anticipated his blank canvas to have already been painted. By how much, he had no idea.
There was an incandescent light in her mind. Slowly, her eyelids flickered open and adjusted to the brightly-lit room. The first thing she saw was a pair of black eyes, completely void of any emotion. She blinked again, with the same painstakingly slowness as her first blink. She didn't bother looking around the room, for she was ensnared by the gaze of the ebon eyes.
Maybe relieved wasn't the right word for the moment, but he couldn't care less. All that mattered was that her eyes had not yet dulled or grown tainted, despite an outside influence. They were still pearl-white, just as they were five years and a couple hours ago. The same eyes that could see through you, but not the other way around. She blinked for a third time before speaking.
"Who are you?"
"Itachi." She repeated, more blinking, as she was storing the name within her. Something in her head whispered something. But she was too busy being entranced with his stare to listen. Not that it would have mattered anyways, for unbeknownst to her, she was already trapped in his world.
"Wh-Where am I?" She asks hesitantly, uncertain of whether or not she should be afraid...or if this is simply some strange training exercise developed by her father. The high ceiling, the brick walls, they look to be some sort of foreign genjutsu. However, the plush bedsheets, not at all like the silk ones at home, those most certainly feel real. Real enough to make the ten-year-old want to lie down and sleep upon them.
"You are not in Konoha anymore." His blank expression shows no compassion at the slight widening of her eyes, before her mouth opens to form a question. Calmly, he lifts a finger against her lips, if only to silence the inevitable question. A question in which he himself honestly, could not give an answer out in words. It was frustrating for him as well, seeing as how she, this timid girl whom he could literally feel shaking up against his gentle-but-firmly-silencing fingers, was a fork in his plan. Something that was definitely not expected, much less planned for.
Everything would have been neatly worked out, if it were not for her. If he were a more emotional person, he would have sighed and brooded a while. But he was Itachi of the Mangekyou Sharingan and he didn't sigh. Instead, he stood up from the chair and proceeded to leave the room, giving the quivvering girl in the bed a cryptic reply of:
"Here is all that is left for you."
"Itachi..." she whispered his name, rolling it around her tongue for the sake of doing so. In place of the thousands of questions she had, he had given her a meaningless sentence. In place of her royal attire and Hyuuga seals, there were kimonos that looked straight out of a painting and funny red-and-white fans and clouds everywhere. It was a strange place, needless to say, and had it been anyone else, Hinata would have been in hysterics. But she was only ten and realized that here, she didn't need to train everyday. Here, there was no otou-sama to yell at her.
It wasn't home. It wasn't home.
But 'home' was a place she had no intention of going to.
Needless to say, Itachi was not a caring person by anyone's standards. He provided her with meals and attire and a roof. He gave crows as servants and she was given delicate praises in the form of butterfly-soft touches when she did something 'right.' The years flew by, and still Hinata resided in the little manor made of bricks with high ceilings and velvet covers.
Sometimes, she'd try to remember what 'home' was. It was only some sort of fleeting memory now. A white bird, so to speak. There were some faces: two angry ones and one sneering one. But there was also a happy one. Yellow hair, radiating waves of sunlight.
Here, she was alone. Itachi (that was all she knew of him--his name) came and went as he pleased. Sometimes she'd only see him once a month, other times he'd stay on the grounds for days without end. But he was always cold, preferring reading and perfecting his attacks as opposed to talking or enjoying life in itself. Hinata wished she could remember the name of the sun, for here, here where she was, there was only the moon.
It was beautiful, unquestionably so. However, where the sun burned you upon contact...the moon simply woudl never allow your hand to touch it.
The manor was peaceful, like a picture of tranquility and calm. As the seasons came and went, Hinata stayed within its walls.
A blank canvas, still.
Faster. Stronger. Smarter.
In short: better. This is what Sasuke had been training for ever since the day after the massacre. The best grades, the highest rankings, the best attacks, the best defense. His position soared until he was the best of the Rookie Nine, better than anyone in Konoha could help, and finally, better than Orochimaru. With each accomplishment, he could feel his hands tightening their grip around his traitor of a bro--
They were not brothers anymore. They were mortal enemies, and the world wasn't large enough for the two of them.
With each new kill, each new genjutsu learned, each accomplishment made, and each ninja beaten, Sasuke could not find a shred of satisfaction. So what if he mastered Katon at an early age? Itachi had beat him to it. Best grades? Only the most dull achievement Itachi had. Beating Orochimaru? Itachi had accomplished that over a decade ago. Everything he did, every little step he took, it was always in his elder brother's shadow.
He looks just like his brother, some nameless Uchiha woman said.
Your eyes, they've got that same dojutsu...Kakashi had commented, just like him.
It was pathetic, they were pathetic, he knew it. But nonetheless, he couldn't help but hold onto the bitter memories of being compared to his, his enemy. Even now, if it wasn't Orochimaru staring at him and licking his lips (just like how he did when he looked at Itachi, he saw when they had entered his mind-world) it was his own mind repeating the same phrase. Over and over again.
Just like your brother.
Just like Itachi.
Just like that traitorous, murderous fuck who killed off all your family and left you alone in the world.
Just like him. Just like him.
"ChiChiChiChi!" Chidori crackled venemously under his hand as again, he charged towards the man he had sworn to kill.
Itachi didn't even attempt to evade. Sasuke sneered; a doppelganger then. 'Two can play at that game,' he thought, quickly making the Chidori-running him a doppelganger as well. It hit, unsurprisingly, again, Itachi keeled down, pretending to be in dead faint.
"You've gotten...much stronger..." he rasps, fake blood (or maybe crows' blood...?) pouring out of his fake chest. Sasuke concentrates on making Itachi think that that is where Sasuke thinks it's going to end. The fake body reaches out two fingers, as if to kill him. Instead, they point towards the throne in which Itachi was--is still sitting on. Sasuke's eyes narrow: there is where the real is. He almost forgets to have the doppelganger show the correct expressions.
"Just like last time..." his doppelganger begins.
"The end is a long ways off." Itachi says solemnly, as if he had all the time in the world.
Sasuke can almost taste the elder's blood upon his lips. He appears behind the throne, the movement too fast for anyone, crow or human to catch. In a swift movement, his katana is through the man's chest.
Blood is being coughed up and he's thinking of the worst phrases he could possibly utter to Itachi in his time of death. However, he finds it far more effective simply to allow the doppelganger to dispel, turning into snakes which turn into nothingness.
"But before I kill you, I have one last question." he ends on the same thing the doppelganger ended upon. Itachi does not respond. Sasuke sees the blood running down his lips, to his chin, and wonders if his former sibling is regretting what happened before. No doubt thinking what he could have done, trying to backtrack to see where he went wrong.
Sasuke smiles bitterly; like Itachi had feelings.
Instead of asking again, he simply jerks the handle of the blade heavenward, so that now there is a long gash running down Itachi; from chest to hip. Blood is gushing out, obviously, and Sasuke never felt so happy seeing the red liquid.
He takes a hand and swipes it over the trickling stream of ruby, bringing the stained piece of marble to his lips.
It tastes good.
Sasuke's eyes expand exponentially as he sees the blood-smeared face of his dead elder brother grace with a smile. A dark chuckle follows as everything turns black...and then red. Tsukuyomi; Sasuke registers this is his mind as the situation is turned over in astoundingly quick time. Crows are everywhere, they make up everything.
The throne was made of crows; his katana was made of crows; Itachi was merely yet another patch of clones. Pecking, squabbling, birds wth flapping wings and cawing beaks that were pecking and biting at him with no regard for their lives. He killed a couple with his bare hands, but that simply made his clothes more red.
Red. Red. Red.
This was Tsukuyomi; Sasuke had seen inside it twice before. The screams of okaa-san and otou-san were ringing through the air, his ears, his head. The agony was unbearable. Just like that fateful night, just like the hospital where Naruto was kept; it was all the same. Blood, blood, and more blood. Black, white, and red were the sole colours of this horrifying world. Telling yourself it was simply a genjutsu did not work.
He keeled, and dropped in a dead faint. Face ashen, breathing jolted at best. Itachi stood over his younger brother, contemplating what do next. His little sibling was proving to be quite the dissapointment; unaware that he had cast the genjustsu as soon as he had pointed his fingers toward the throne, or more importantly; what was behind the throne.
Undoubtedly; his younger brother had improved. However, not enough, not enough to match up to Itachi's standards.
A disappointment, in short.
Itachi stood impassively for a moment, lost in thought, before stalking off to recuperate for his mass usage of chakra. He needed to call Kisame back to the manor first.
There was no question in whether or not he noticed a girl with pearl-eyes coming downstairs, but to say he cared was a completely different story. He had no need to hide his younger brother's failures from anyone.
And so, he left without a word, leaving Hinata to discover a crumpled boy being pecked by crows in the throne room. It wasn't an everyday occurence, especially when said boy was gasping and wheezing and desperately clutching the air for something.
A life that wasn't there.
end of the first chapter.