Sterilized Bars

This is going to be a MadaraxItachi fic, set at the start of Itachi & Sasuke's fight in the manga. SPOILERS if you don't read the manga!! If you don't like the couple don't read.

Sterilized Bars

& in the dark when you're all alone-

Whatever will you think?

Fear grasps your hand- makes you scream and moan-

Lord Death smirks and offers a wink.

Biting nails down onto flesh,

Shivering beneath cold sheets,

As old fears become fresh

& his boney fingers ensnare your feet…

You cry out.

No avail.

Dying shout

Transforms into pitiful wail. ©

Prologue

Itachi stumbled again, trying to see through the darkness that was beginning to obscure his vision. Trying to ignore the concern practically radiating off of his shark-like partner, Kisame. It was only five more miles to their current hideout; he was sure he could make it.

Itachi didn't understand how he'd gotten so sick so fast; he'd been fine on the mission. Now the dizziness was making his already dark vision waver, so that the uneven path they were on seemed treacherous. He was so nauseous that he didn't know how he wasn't already puking his brains out. And then the pain started, exploding in his chest from nowhere. Enough to drive Uchiha Itachi to his knees.

He couldn't think, couldn't breathe, couldn't see. All he could do was feel. Feel the pain and how horribly sensitive it made his sweaty skin. He felt hot and then cold in rapid succession, struggling to stay conscious. Nothing had ever hurt like this before.

He only realized he was hyperventilating when Kisame's voice finally broke through the impending darkness, barking at him to breathe and calm the fuck down. Itachi hadn't realized he'd been moaning and whimpering, crying like a little child. How disgraceful. But the panic in Kisame's voice got through to him and he managed to take slow, deep breathes through clenched teeth. All the while he fixated only on getting back to the hideout. Five more miles.

Finally, gasping, he was able to get up. He was shaking. Kisame was one step from losing it; he'd never seen his partner like this. Itachi slowly trudged forwards, refusing help as he struggled. And Kisame knew that there was no way he was going to make it. Not with his raged breathing, flushed face, and chakara fluctuating all over the place.

Itachi made it another two miles before collapsing again. Again, he got up and refused help. Only three more miles. He had to make it there tonight, had to finish the mission.

Kisame was shocked that Itachi had managed to make it all the way to the entrance of the hideout. Looking back even Itachi hadn't known how he made it. The only really clear memory he had was of seeing Zetsu waiting for them outside the entrance. Vaguely he heard Kisame remark he didn't look too good. Then he passed out.

1

The first thing he heard was humming. Someone, a man judging from the chakara and low tone of the humming, was sitting at his bedside. And Itachi felt like shit. His entire body ached. Throbbing painfully, even with the healing potion he could still taste. They must have forced it down his throat while he was unconscious.

Itachi tried to open his eyes but found that someone had wrapped bandages over them. As he reached up to pull them off the pain attacked again. He gasped sharply, losing all sense of where he was. He curled over onto his side, feeling the pain shoving him towards unconsciousness again. Though even as he fought it he felt someone's chakara soothing his. A man's chakara. The one who had been humming only moments before.

The pain slowly crept back, inch by inch. As it did he gradually became aware that the man was petting his hair. And then he finally recognized the chakara signature: Uchiha Madara.

"Itachi, don't cry blood. You'll ruin your bandages." Madara's voice mocked from somewhere above him. But the tone of his voice didn't match the gentleness of his fingers or how his chakara had soothed Itachi's pain. What mind game was the real leader, Itachi's sensei, playing with him now? And what was wrong with him anyway?

"Your chakara backfired on itself and clogged your main ki points, because of the overuse of your Sharingan. It should have hurt the most in your chest since most of your chakara was trapped there.

"The chakara was looking for any way of escape: screams, tears, even through the pores of your flesh. Not a very pleasant experience. As it is now you shouldn't try to even use your eyes for a week. You really need to take your brother's eyes for your own soon, or I won't be able to prevent you from going blind and becoming useless." Madara explained softly, continuing to run his fingers through Itachi's hair.

"How did you stop it just now then?"

"I used my chakara to unclog your ki points. But it's only a temporary cure; it won't work forever."

Madara sat on the bed, lightly stroking his face, which he thought odd. But, of course, he wouldn't admit it.

"I had Pein reassign Kisame to solo missions, and gave him the information needed to run things for a while so I can stay with you. After all, things might get interesting, my pet."

Pet? Itachi was surprised; Madara had never called him that before. Why start now?

"Pet?"

"You'll always be my pet, 'Tachi." He could practically hear the smirk in the other man's voice as he left, calling behind him, "Be sure to sleep now."

Was it possible Madara liked him? He couldn't think of any other reason for his behavior, unless it really was some screwed up game. But Madara wasn't known to play with people's hearts, only their minds. Itachi knew only one thing: he didn't want to be alone with his sensei in the condition he was in; Madara was really very unpredictable at times.

XX

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