Hey guys! Whoo!!! Final chapter of Aishiteru!!! Sorry I didn't get this out sooner! Got caught in a bit of writer's block and then when I had about half this chapter written, my computer got this real nasty virus that I had to have cleared up. Anyway, at least its out for Christmas or whatever holiday you may celebrate!
As a special gift for everyone who has been faithful to this story, I have taken the time to make something special to go along with it. Its a special fanart of Aishiteru! If you want to see, go check it out on my deviantart! I don't think ff will actually let me put up the link, but just in case, type in the link without the spaces.
h t t p : / / b i b o c h a n . d e v i a n t a r t . c o m / a r t / A i s h i t e r u – 1 4 7 9 4 5 9 7 0
Okay? Hope you guys all like it and hope you all love the final chapter!
'My dear Kamis, Amaterasu, Tsukuyomi, I ask of you to keep a watchful eye over Sasuke, for I cannot. Keep him safe and out of harm's way. If he wanders into the darkness, guide him back to where the light may shine upon him. All I ask is that he may live a long and prosperous life on his own. If you may do this for me, my dear Kamis, I will be forever grateful. Domo-arigato-gozaimasu.'
Itachi opened his eyes and stood up from his kneeling position at the edge of the cliff, overlooking the bright full moon. He stared out at it, half hoping he would be able to see through Tsukuyomi-sama's eyes to make sure his brother was sleeping safely. A noise, a footstep nearby caught his attention. Turning to face the one intruding on his moment of solitude, the raven narrowed his eyes. Madara had just appeared out of the forest looking quite content. He could only stare down at the other who held such a smug face.
"Where have you been?"
"Since when," Madara asked coolly, losing his smile and replacing it with a sarcastic sneer, walking over to join the raven, "have you become so interested in what I do with my spare time?"
"We have nothing but spare time," Itachi replied with his own touch of bitterness.
"Indeed. But, I'm afraid its none of your business what I do when you're not around. I don't bother you when you're out here moping to the great Kamis about your foolish little brother...besides this time of course."
Madara's smirk widened as he caught the look on Itachi's face. A grimace, his expression was too faint and too fleeting for a mortal to notice, but his immortal eyes caught it perfectly.
"You can't deny, Itachi. Your little brother has become somewhat of a disappointment. I mean, after everything he went through with you, then exclaiming he hated you. If that were me, I'd have killed him on the spot for not appreciating what I'd done for him."
"You don't know the whole story."
"What, that he had a kid on the way? Hai, I heard. I don't care. And neither should you. You said he would be the only survivor and he is. You're still too young, Itachi. Your heart is still too soft."
Madara clapped his hand on Itachi's shoulder and squeezed lightly. Itachi gave no reply to what seemed a reassuring look on the other's face, instead he kept his expression straight and stony. Madara sighed and turned to walk away, Itachi turning to look back at him.
He waved his wrist limply to Itachi as he spoke, "I don't care what you do, Itachi. But for right now, I'm going to go feed. I suggest you do the same. I'll see you back at the inn before dawn."
The raven stared at his retreating back until it was lost within the foliage. He turned back toward the moon and gave a heavy sigh. Kneeling back down, he laced his fingers together and closed his eyes once more.
'My dear Kamis, please hear my plea. I am starting to feel increasingly suspicious of my comrade and maker...'
After the slaughter, Sasuke didn't know what to do. The bodies of his family, his friends, lay scattered over the courtyard. Most were burnt to cinders, even their bones had been devoured by the unholy black flames that still burned as if they were fresh. He had collected the corpses of his mother and father, his wife and Itachi's. Walking over to the shed where the workers had kept their tools, he grabbed a shovel and proceeded to dig graves for the four of them in the soft earth.
He laid his father in first, looking down at the man's mutilated corpse. Fugaku deserved what he got, Sasuke knew that. He deserved it more than he knew. But he was his father, and Sasuke had to be respectful.
His mother did not deserve her death. Yes, it was true she did not help the situation, but she did not need to have died.
Itachi's wife, why couldn't Itachi have just given her a chance? She was such a wonderful woman, sweet and kind-hearted.
Finally, his wife. Itachi didn't even know his wife. How could he have brought such a cruel fate upon someone who had nothing to do with this terrible situation? And his child. A child; someone who had not even been given a chance to do right or wrong on this earth. He thought Itachi really did care for children. He'd been so good with him when he was younger and all their cousins as well. How could his brother be so unbelievably cruel?
He laid his wife in the grave, taking her face in his hands and pressing his lips to her's. He laid her head down and lightly rubbed his palm over her slightly swollen stomach. He couldn't stop the tears from flowing. The young raven wiped his dirty, bloody face on his already soiled silk kimono sleeve. He licked his dry, chapped lips and cringed at the taste of salt from his sweat and tears and the metallic tang of blood that still lingered. He covered them with earth and packed it down, then said a final prayer. He couldn't stay here any longer.
Sasuke managed to make his way through the forest to the nearby village that his family had claimed as theirs. Dawn had already come and the villagers were coming out to start work. When they caught sight of him, his dirty clothes, messy, matted hair, and blood-stained skin, they could only stare in shock and awe.
"Kudasai, my family... was massacred..."
A man stepped forward and spoke up, "You're an Uchiha?"
The man scoffed, "Good riddance!"
Sasuke stared at the man incredulously. A look of pure shock and horror on his face, "How, how could you possibly say that?!"
"The Uchihas have done nothing but hinder us," another man spoke, "taking most of our food and money for what they called taxes! Its like we had to pay them for breathing their air! I'm glad that wretched clan is gone!"
The crowd piped up with slight cheers and cries of 'watashi-mo!' Sasuke couldn't stand it.
"How could you say something like that?! They were humans just as you are!"
A woman spoke this time, "Why couldn't you say that to them? They treated us like dirt! And if you couldn't see it, you're just as bad!"
The crowd cheered again, but the first man who spoke quieted them down and stepped closer to the young Uchiha, "If you have no where to go, you can take that old hut that boy with yellow hair used to live in," Sasuke's face paled and his eyes grew wide, "However, you will not be considered a part of this village and we will not help you further."
The raven heard the voice of another villager shout, "Ugh, if its not one nuisance, its another!"
"What do you mean...boy with yellow hair?"
"Did you not hear of him? Deidara was his name. His mother grew up here and got knocked up by a western traveler. Ever since she died, we've had to deal with the freaky bastard. He's gone now. Three years now, I believe. No one really knows what happened to him. Some say he ran away, others say he's dead. Heh, we all hope for the latter."
Sasuke couldn't take these people any longer, "Where is the hut?"
The man pointed in the general direction and he followed. After a minute or so, he made it to the remains of where Itachi's blonde used to live. The place had been ransacked. He had enough sense to assume the villagers pillaged the place when they realized Deidara was gone for good. All that was left was a straw sleeping mat, looking no where near as comfortable as the stuffed mattresses he was used to, but it would have to do. Also, he noticed what looked to be what was once a memorial of sorts. Sasuke remembered the man said Deidara had his mother for a while before she died. It must have been to her. The piece was broken and scattered with long since wilted flowers. The raven couldn't help but fix it up, putting the pieces back in their respectful places and replacing the flowers with new ones that were growing just outside the forest. He managed to fix up the area to look at least halfway decent and unrolled the mat to lay down. It was hard and uncomfortable, but he really didn't care at this point. He rested his head on a makeshift pillow, after dusting it off, and stared blankly at the memorial. So this is how the peasants lived...no. This is how one who was lower than the peasants lived...
"Who is this?"
Itachi opened his eyes and was blinded by a powerful light. Completely out of an independent reaction from his new life, he shielded himself from such light.
"There is nothing to fear my son. You are protected."
The raven lowered his arms and his eyes widened at the one who stood before him. A man, older looking, yet divine, was clad in a beautifully flowing pure white kimono. He had long grayed hair pulled back into an intricate bun adorned with golden hair jewelry.
"Who are you?"
The man smiled softly, "My name is Izanagi."
Itachi gasped at the wonder and amazement of standing before the creator of the world and god of heaven, "Izanagi-sama!" The raven collapsed to the ground in a faithful bow.
"Rise my son. There is much I need to tell you."
Itachi rose as he was told and looked up questioningly at the powerful deity.
"About what, my lord? And may I ask," he respectfully waited for a nod to continue, "why do you refer to me as your son? Was I not willingly made into a monster by a child descended straight from Izanami?"
"Yes, you were. However, you, unlike Madara, have always been faithful to me and my children. I am willing to erase your sins and cleanse your soul to be my child instead. You must continue to live as you do, but you will have my blessing. As for our situation, my twin children, Amaterasu and Tsukuyomi have kept an eye on your younger brother as you have requested and they bring me some troublesome news."
"What is wrong with Sasuke?" Itachi asked almost panicked.
"The boy is fine. Taken to living as a peasant, but fine nonetheless. What worries me is your companion Madara and the one he is associating with," Izanagi continued at seeing Itachi's furrowed brow, "Another kyuuketsuki. A monstrous man known as Orochimaru. My main focus, however, is on Madara. He plans to release Izanami from Yomi."
"How can he do that?"
"He can't. Not yet at least. It will be much easier for him now though."
"Why is that?"
"The Uchihas are nearly gone. Itachi, your family has always been closer to us than any other mortals. The only one that stands in his way now is Sasuke, the last living Uchiha. If Madara can infect Sasuke with Izanami's darkness as he did you, he will have no trouble bringing her back. He was planning to use you but he realizes you are too faithful to me. Sasuke however, is fair game. He is going to use Orochimaru to turn Sasuke and raise him to be Izanami's child as he is. You, Itachi, must not let that happen."
"What can I do? Madara is far stronger than I."
"Wakarimasu. That is why I will have Amaterasu, Tsukuyomi, and Susano'O helping you when you need it. Itachi, this may go one of three ways. Either Sasuke is turned by Orochimaru or Madara and taken into the darkness, or he may be turned by you and will be protected by the light, or he will die. If your brother is turned by you or dies, Madara cannot use him and will therefore not be able to raise Izanami. He needs two Uchihas to do this."
"There is no other way? I do not wish to expose Sasuke to such a wretched existence as mine."
"I am afraid not. Your only other option would be to kill him. But, Itachi...," the god raised Itachi's fallen face to gaze into his glowing golden eyes, "Why must you believe this existence is so horrid? Will you not see your precious blonde again?"
"I'm not sure..."
"I can assure you, you will undoubtedly meet again. I know what it feels like to lose someone you hold dear. And I will not deny you to be reunited with Deidara and live happily with him."
At seeing Izanagi's worn face stretch into a sincere smile, Itachi could not hold back one of his own.
"Now, I do believe I have something to give you," Izanagi said, holding an arm out to Itachi. He turned his palm up and stretched out his hand and a very large raven appeared, perching on his wrist, "His name is Yatagarasu. He will be your animal companion and will also, in time lend you his powers. For now, he will have all of his descendants help you in your fight over your brother."
Itachi bowed deeply for the god before him, "Arigato-gozaimasu."
Sasuke was awoken by the fearful screams of the villagers. The young raven instantly thought back to the way his family screamed as they all lost their lives. He hurriedly got up and ran outside. There were snakes everywhere. They ranged through various sizes, some big enough to kill the horses. He ran out to try and help where he could. He would show these people that he was not like they believed him to be. Also, he would not let this be a repeat of the last massacre; he would not just stand off to the side, frozen by shock and scared like a pitiful child. As he ran through the mass of serpents, many tried striking him. He found a young woman trying to shield her child from the slithering beasts. He stomped down on them, successfully killing each. The woman quickly took his hand and he helped her limp to a clear spot.
The raven only nodded and ran off to find the source of the infestation. What he came upon was not something he had expected. A man with skin paler and more grayed than he remembered Itachi's being with long messy black hair was howling with laughter as a giant serpent destroyed some of the huts, killing some of the villagers in the process. Sasuke froze. He'd only heard tales of serpents that size, dragons and sea monsters. He'd never believed those tales before, but here was such a beast right before his very eyes. Snapping out of his bewilderment, he noticed the man had stopped his fit of laughter and opted to stare directly at him.
"W-who are you and why are you doing this?" He called out to the man, trying to hold in his fear and sound as confident and righteous as he could possibly muster.
The man only gave another howl of laughter and sneered at him, "So it is you, finally, Uchiha Sasuke."
"How do you know my name?!"
"You were promised to me, Sasuke-kun. Now you will be mine!"
Before Sasuke could register what had happened, the other man stretched out his neck and ruched toward him baring grotesque fangs and bit down onto the side of his neck. The man's body leaped forward to close the distance with his head and grabbed hold of Sasuke's arms. The young raven screamed in pain as the man literally tore the flesh from his neck and threw him down to the ground, pinning him down.
"Such sweet blood, Sasuke-kun."
"Y-you're like my brother? Did he promise me to you?"
"Itachi? Hah! Never. Though I may be like him, I am much older and stronger. And he is too holy a being for me to even stand the company of. No, it was his maker and mine as well, Uchiha M-"
Before the vampire could finish his sentence, a flurry of ravens attacked him and ripped at him with beaks and talons, successfully forcing him to retreat from his position over Sasuke to the safety of his giant snake.
Sasuke couldn't move. The wound in his neck had severed his jugular, he could feel it. He could feel the blood pouring out of him, a bit of his life leaving him with each drop. He looked up, his vision getting hazy. He saw a man with beautiful clothes and long midnight hair, a giant raven was perched on his shoulder. Could it be...Itachi? He couldn't quite tell. It didn't really matter though. He would die here and be able to join his family once again. That thought didn't make it seem all that bad to die. Content, he allowed himself to be consumed by the darkness.
"Orochimaru, I will not allow you to take Sasuke."
Orochimaru gritted his teeth and called to the raven vampire before him, "You have an animal spirit?! How could one so young as yourself obtain something that is supposed to come with age and power?!"
Itachi kept his face straight and his voice even, taking a step forward, "You may be an older kyuuketsuki than myself. You may even have greater time-given strength and abilities than I do. But there is one thing you don't have, Orochimaru; the light of the Kamis themselves. And with their light, I will make sure you do not lay a finger on my beloved brother."
At this, Itachi set his arm up, Yatagarasu climbing down to his wrist, and thrust the bird into the air. The raven soared into the heavens and merged with the moon. The other ravens swarmed around Itachi until they became nothing but a blurred, black mass. Not even Orochimaru's immortal eyes could keep track of what was happening in front of him.
The snake-like vampire gave a deep hiss and called to the serpent at his side, "Manda! I believe it is time we showed this pest what it means to get in our way! Devour him and his winged beasts!"
The serpent hissed and slithered toward Itachi, opening its mouth wide and striking down only to have the ravens scatter and with them, any trace of Itachi.
"Where did you go?!" Orochimaru called out.
At this, the ravens swooped down toward Manda and as they made contact, burst into midnight flames, burning through the layers of scales and into the snake's flesh. Manda hissed in pain as it was continuously bombarded by the kamikaze birds. Those that remained gathered together where Itachi emerged from the mass. He sent the ravens to attack Orochimaru directly, but the other managed to fight them off. One by one, the snake-like man slithered about and managed to dodge all attacks as well as take out a few of the corvine fowl along the way.
Itachi closed his eyes and concentrated on his birds, sending a couple ravens down to the ground to fly as shadows up to Orochimaru and fly up to clench their beaks around his wrists. Sending Tsukuyomi's power through them, a fluctuation from the moon itself shot through Orochimaru's body, causing his arms to fall limp at his sides.
"What have you done to me, Itachi?!" He hissed.
"With the help of Yatagarasu and his kin, I have taken out your serpent and the use of your arms as well. You do not stand a chance against me, Orochimaru..."
"Itachi! What in the name of the Kamis are you doing?!"
Itachi turned his crimson gaze toward the intruder. His eyes narrowed.
"Madara, I know your plans and I will not allow you to bring Izanami forth, much less drag Sasuke into this."
Madara had bounded into the scene on the back of a giant charcoal wolf. The beast turned toward Itachi and growled menacingly, lowering its head and digging its claws into the bloodstained earth. Madara only smirked at the raven.
"Oh, Itachi...if only it was you. I wanted it to be you. I chose you out of all other Uchiha because I knew you were more like me than anyone. If it hadn't been for your love for your brother, he would have died with the massacre and you and I would raise Izanami-sama. However, it would seem you have turned out quite the opposite of what I anticipated...fighting for Izanagi. Well, now I'm glad you spared Sasuke. He seems to have that right touch of darkness in his heart to be able to help me."
Itachi ground his teeth to the sound of the other's words, "I will never let you get your hands on
Sasuke. I will not allow him to succumb to your darkness."
Madara smirked, "What will you do, Itachi?"
"My light will devour your darkness."
In that instant, Itachi spread his arms wide and the moon shown with as much intensity as the sun itself. Itachi closed his eyes soothingly, basking in the holy light. He could hear Madara's and Orochimaru's screams of terror and pain, cursing him. He gently sighed.
As the light left, he opened his eyes and scanned the area where the two vampires and their beasts had been only moments earlier. They were not dead. He knew that. Fled, dealt with for the time being.
Now that there were no more distractions, Itachi turned his attention toward his little brother. The younger was terribly wounded and had been bleeding out. The raven sensed his heartbeat. Faint, yet still there. He hurriedly tilted Sasuke's head up, cradling it in his arm.
"Gomen-nasai, Otouto. What I am going to do, you will hate me for. Unfortunately, though, its for your own good...as well as my own selfish needs. I cannot do this alone. I can only pray you will eventually understand."
Itachi wrapped his lips around his wrist and sunk his teeth into his flesh. Sucking out his own blood until getting a good mouth full, he parted Sasuke's lips and transferred the crimson liquid to the other's mouth, making sure it slid down his throat. He repeated the process until he believed his brother had ingested enough. Itachi picked him up fully and carried him swiftly back to the inn where he and Madara had stayed the night before, holding him tight as his body convulsed with the pain of the transformation.
The place was as they'd left it. Itachi bound Sasuke's wrists so he wouldn't hurt himself during the final moments of turning and made his way to the door. He could not stay with Sasuke. The younger would despise him and would undoubtedly want to kill him out of sheer vengeance for both their family and the new unwanted life he had just condemned him to. With a heavy heart, Itachi left. Hoping his brother would be fine on his own and would be able to resist the temptation of darkness.
Sasuke opened his eyes slowly, disbelievingly.
Had he not died? He should have. He could have sworn it.
He looked around. A rented room? Why was he here? And why did it seem so easy to see in such darkness?
He moved to sit up and noticed his wrists were tied. Examining his hands closer, he noticed his nails were longer. How long had he been out? But...the were shiny...like glass. And his skin seemed paler.
No. It couldn't be.
His eyes widened considerably and he shuddered. He wrenched his wrists apart and easily broke the rope. Climbing off the bed over to the dresser which held a small mirror. Hands trembling, he picked it up and peered into the glass.
He screamed and collapsed, the mirror shattering as it hit the floor. Reflected back was nothing but he, himself but with blood red eyes and a complexion to match his brother's. He picked up a shard of glass and held it up, examining his teeth. Fangs, long and sharp.
He dropped it and covered his mouth with his trembling hands. He could have been with his loved ones again. With his wife and child. But now he is forced to stay alive in this world, as a kyuuketsuki no less.
That snake of a man, he would have killed him. But he was stopped in his tracks by...Itachi?
Yes. It was Itachi. It had to be. With this, his brother has truly taken everything away from him. He would make him pay. He would kill him with his bare hands and feel the life leave his body, hear his final heartbeat. And the one who made Itachi, too; the final Uchiha.
'My dear Kamis, domo-arigato-gozaimasu. You have helped me in ways I could never have dreamed. I am afraid this is not the end though. Madara will not give up so long as he is alive. I must find a way to kill him and restore my relationship with Sasuke. With that in mind, I will wander this earth through time, with Yatagarasu at my side, and search for my most beloved person. I only wish, perhaps in vain, my blonde might remember me...'
Oh! Kami-sama! Finally! Whoo-hoo! Aishiteru is over! I kinda hate to say it but I really wanted to get to the end. I love it when I'm able to complete a story. Don't worry though, this is really just a prequel. The real story I'm gonna start up sometime soon called, Itsumademo. Keep on the look out! And thank you everyone for staying faithful to this story and having the patience to deal with me and my delayed updates. Anyway, please review and go check out the drawing on DA!!! Ja!!!