Part II

Eleven

The door closed quietly behind him as he entered the cold and dreary house. The only light ever kept on was the one above the stove in the kitchen and like a moth in the night, that was always the first place he went to. He kicked off his shoes and let his backpack fall to the floor.

the light…

the light…

He bolted across the living room floor and ducked through the archway to the kitchen. The light-where children were safe from what was lurking in the dark. It was his only place for peace. He ran a hand through his dark bangs before walking over to the cupboard right of the stove and grabbing a drinking glass. The glass was cold in his hand as he turned to carry it to the sink. A simple, lifeless, fragile object that's only purpose was to be used over and over for another's needs until it was thrown away. What a pathetic thing.

A hand wrapped around his waist and pulled him back. The glass fell from his grasp and shattered on the floor. A foreign warmth invaded his back as he was pressed against a stronger body.

No, the light's still on…

The hand wandered lower, making him sick as it trailed the hem of his pants familiarly.

When you have no place to hide from the monsters,
where are you safe?

Seven

His legs dangled lifelessly over the cushioned chair in Kakashi's office. The thoughts in his mind swam through like oil in water. They stuck out, but were still the same slippery substance and left him just as quickly. He had a feeling that he had cried everything out earlier, which was why his eyes stung so badly. Was he empty now? Was there anything left?

The door clicked open behind him. "Sasuke," Kakashi said, "your great uncle is here to get you." Sasuke vaguely searched through his known family tree as he jumped off the chair. He didn't remember a great uncle.

He shuffled his way to Kakashi, stopping at the man's feet. The door was slowly opened more, revealing shiny black shoes and nice black pants. Sasuke tilted his head up to find spiky black hair, the same color as his. "Hello Sasuke," the stranger said, "I'm Madara. You'll be living with me now."

Thirteen

The aisles in the pharmacy were barren as the two boys wandered around. Toys, medicines, candies, and get well cards were stocked by the bunches, but every one of them was passed by. Naruto let out a frustrated sigh and cradled his head back into his hands. "What are we doing here, anyway?"

Sasuke pointedly ignored him and kept walking purposefully into the far right of the store. He flew by hair accessories, make-up, baby diapers, until he finally stopped at the perfumes and lotion aisle.

Naruto raised an eyebrow as his friend scanned the differently scented sprays. "Uh, Sasuke?"

"Hn."

Naruto picked up in 'Aah, Ocean' bottle cautiously. "Why are you trying to smell like a girl?"

Without a word the dark-haired youth reached out for a rose scented bottle and sprayed the perfume on himself. The strength of it burned his nose and made his eyes water. He placed the bottle back and turned around, briskly heading back to the entrance of the store.

Naruto watched him for a moment, dumbstruck. "H-Hey Sasuke! Wait!" He broke into a run and rushed through the automatic doors, catching Sasuke just as he exited. "Bastard, I said wait!" Naruto grabbed the pale boy's shirt and shoved him up against the brick wall. Dark eyes glared pointedly into blue. He was cornered. "What the fuck is wrong with you?!" Naruto shouted obscenely.

Sasuke looked away from him in embarrassment. "He said I should smell like a rose, so I figured-"

"No!" Naruto slammed his back again. "You can't do this! You can't listen to everything that pervert says!"

Sasuke's head snapped up in fury. "Shut up! You don't know what it's like! If I do this he make take it easier-"

"He won't and you know it!" Naruto growled, his fists clenching tighter on Sasuke's stretching shirt. "Damnit! I know you can open your legs Sasuke, try kicking them instead!"

Silence. The words went into Sasuke like a cookie cutter, tearing him into shapes and pieces, while a wave of guilt hit Naruto in the stomach. The blond shakily released his companion, taking a step backward. "Sasuke, I-"

"If I don't do what he says, he'll hurt someone." The pale boy's body trembled with furious emotion. "He'll hurt you or someone from school and it'll be my fault. I can't let that happen."

Naruto shook his head defiantly. "You can't save the fucking world Sasuke." Without another word, a flash of dark hair whipped by him as his friend ran home.

Seventeen

Ichiraku's looked as it always had. Empty, dimly lighted, and poorly cared for. For the most part it was abandoned. No one had ever seen the owner, but someone must have been paying for it or else the place would be a Burger King. As far as Sasuke was concerned, it could be anything as long as he and Naruto could still talk there safely and without interruption.

The bell on the door jingled as the blond teen stepped in. "Damn it's getting cold out there. Alright, what the hell has he-Sasuke?" Naruto stopped as he took in the bruises on his friend's face. Not a patch of skin wasn't discolored. His left eye was as large as a fist. A gash near his hairline was still bleeding slightly. "What happened?"

The low, melodic voice barely reached Naruto's ears. "He set him up."

Naruto frowned in confusion, stepping closer. "Who did what?"

Sasuke's frail hands started to shake violently at his sides. "The bastard set Itachi up!"

Blue eyes widened frantically. "Whoa! Stop and rewind! Tell me what's going on from the beginning."

Sasuke took in a breath with difficulty and peered at his best friend seriously. "Madara killed my parents and framed Itachi for it."

Naruto's frown deepened. "Why?"

Sasuke flinched, a looking of utter guilt crossing his face. "Because he wanted me." There was a pause as Naruto took it in. Sasuke snorted. "And don't worry, he told me himself." He gestured bitterly to his beaten face.

"God, Sasuke," Naruto breathed, wrapping his arms around his friend's thinner frame. "It's not your fault."

"I don't know if I can go back there," Sasuke said truthfully. "I might kill him."

The blond chuckled. "Yeah, well I have a better idea. You drove your Saturn here right?" Sasuke looked up at him questioningly and nodded. Naruto grinned. "Well let's see how fast it can go."

Nineteen

Sasuke fidgeted nervously outside of the prison gates. "They told him everything during the trial. What if-What must he think of me?"

Naruto rolled his eyes next to him. "We've been over this! You're his little brother and you got his ass out of jail. If anything, you're his savior."

Sasuke's lips twitched upward at the thought of Itachi worshipping him. "Thank you, Naruto."

"For what?" the blond asked, giving him a skeptical look.

Sasuke sighed. "For being there through…everything."

Naruto gave a small laugh. "I'll always be here when you need me, Sasuke."

The gates rattled as a guard pushed them open. Fearfully, Sasuke brought his eyes forward to meet a matching pair. His breath hitched. "Itachi," he choked, and in a flash he was in his brother's arms for the first time in thirteen years. An eternity.

Itachi gave a low chuckle and thumped a hand on Sasuke's head. "Little brother." They stayed that way for a moment, the guard long gone. Itachi pulled back first, looking at Sasuke then at the parking lot in confusion. "Who were you talking to?"

Sasuke furrowed his brow in confusion and looked back to where Naruto was.

Nothing.

"I-uh," Sasuke stammered, searching for an answer. "A friend."


Author's Blab: Yaaay. It's done. Now for those of you confused, well...I can't really help you. It kind of ruins it to explain everything. But if you really want me to, ask me in the form of a review to tell you what you missed. I'll message you back, I promise.

Disclaimer: IaDbOcNdOeTfOgWhNijNkAlRmUnTpO. Mkay, now read every other word of that last 'sentence.'