Title: Legends of the Obsidian King
Author: Kraken's Ghost
Contact: PM or review.
First Legend - Silence
Uchiha Itachi almost dies before he's even a year old.
He contracts a disease that isn't known by any medical name; no one infected with it has lived long enough to for it to be properly studied. The only name it's ever been given is Silent Fever, given by the civilians living in the poor districts where the disease hits the hardest.
The primary symptom is the silence of the afflicted. Within hours of infection, the victim becomes unable to make a single sound. The silence hides the deadly fever that follows it, which kills so quickly that caretakers often don't know the victim has died. The corpse is usually cold by the time anyone notices something is wrong.
When Uchiha Fugaku finds out his only son has the disease, he immediately demands that the Sandaime Hokage grant him unrestricted access to medical treatments and the highest ranking medics in the village.
The prospect for survival is bleak. Even the legendary medic Tsunade had failed to develop a vaccine or even a proper treatment for Silent Fever. With her gone, the odds of any miraculous medical breakthroughs are slim to none.
However, since it's the Uchiha Heir, the Medical Chief is more than willing to try. He assembles the best minds he has at his disposal and sets out to treat the child.
The village is witness to the sight of the Sandaime and the Uchiha Head leading a macabre parade of Medics and Doctors, who are in turn flanked by a host of nosy, scheming politicians, all marching to see an almost certainly dead child.
The troupe arrives at the Clan Head's manor to find Uchiha Mikoto sitting on the back porch, gently playing with her son.
Her perfectly healthy son.
The Chief is astonished when he examines the boy and finds that he has somehow successfully fought off a previously one hundred percent lethal disease. He can't find anything truly anomalous about Itachi, though he does note the babe doesn't fuss or make any sounds of protest that an infant child normally would. It's odd but, according to the boy's mother, that's the norm for him.
The Chief examines Itachi at the hospital complete with a full chakra scan, MRI, and blood work. While he finds traces of the virus still in the infant's body, there's nothing out of the ordinary except for the lower than normal brain activity, and even that can be easily dismissed as after-effects of the fever. Or it could just be that Itachi is slower than the average child.
After days of testing, the dumbfounded Chief can do nothing but write the Heir a clean bill of health.
When Hyuuga Hiashi, who'd managed to worm his way into the affair during the disarray, not-quite-jokingly suggests that Itachi be subjected to further medical study so that the boy will 'actually serve some purpose to the Leaf', Fugaku has to be physically restrained from incinerating the other Clan Head. While a loud argument breaks out in the background, Itachi merely sits and stares off into space.
His mother wonders if the fever damaged his brain and whether he'll ever recover.
His father wonders if he'll develop into a proper Heir and starts planning a second son.
Itachi keeps watching the birds outside the kitchen window.
AN: Companion fic to the Matters, Secrets, and Times Trilogy. There'll be twenty chapters in all, following the spirit of a 20 Stanzas fic, but not the format. The next chapter is already done and will be up fairly soon.
Much thanks to Frankto Vinneti and Mannequin Muse. Without them, this fic would never have gotten past a rough draft.
As always, let me know what you think.
V1.1 – August 14, 2008