(A\N: For all of you who don't know the truth about Itachi (which we found out in the last few manga chapters) he will seem OOC to you. But in truth, he was actually emotional and kind and caring, apparently. So I tried to portray the softer side of Itachi in this. I hope you guys enjoy it. :D)
Death was nothing like he'd thought. Death was…white and soft, like clouds. There was no pain, although his eyes did hurt from the bright light. And then the white light was gone, replaced with gold, and he blinked a few times, not sure if what he was seeing was real.
He was standing on a well-beaten dirt road. A breeze blew past him, soft and cool, tugging at the ends of his bangs. He could hear the rustling of leaves and the chirping of birds. It was spring, and he couldn't help but smile softly as he looked over at the trees lining the road.
He knew this place.
His footsteps started out slow and steady, before they began to pick up speed. Soon he was running as fast as he could, following the dirt path and the sunlight and the wind and the birds' songs.
I'm here! I'm home, I'm home, I'm—
And he stopped, breath hitching in his throat as the gates loomed in front of him. Konoha…he was back. Was he allowed back this time? He looked down to see he was wearing his old dark shirt and pants. His hands seemed softer, and there were less scars on them than he remembered.
I'm not supposed to be here…I have to leave to make sure Sasuke stays safe, Itachi thought, angry and ashamed at himself for taking a step towards his precious village. No…he wanted so badly to return. Please…this couldn't be a genjutsu. Please…he couldn't believe that Sasuke would be so cruel as to do this to him.
You're dead. A voice inside his head sang. Sasuke killed you, you're dead.
Itachi let out a shaky exhalation of breath as the gates groaned and they opened. Bright light once again assailed him, and he clenched his eyes shut. And the light was gone once more and Itachi slowly blinked, his eyes trying to readjust.
He let out a choked cry at the sight before him.
They were all waiting at the gate.
His mother was smiling her usual sweet smile, waving to him. His father stood beside her, one arm around her waist. His eyes shined softly—was it pride he saw there? He had expected nothing but anger and hatred.
His aunt and uncle were there as well, standing with rest of the Uchiha clan…and something bloomed in his chest as he gave a bright smile. He searched the crowd eagerly. But his smile began to fade, brow knotted in confusion as he realized that the one face he longed to see most of all was not there.
"Where…" Itachi whispered. "Where is he?" He got no answer. His family continued to smile and wave, beckoning him to enter the gates. But he couldn't do it…not until he knew that Shisui was waiting there for him as well.
"I have to tell him something!" Itachi shouted at them, because he knew he couldn't move. If he went towards them he would never stop running, and then he may never see Shisui again. "I have to tell him that I know why now!"
And the crowd parted and he stepped forward, smiling that patient, care-free smile like always, his eyes dancing.
Itachi's own eyes burned as he took a shaky breath and rushed towards him. He ran passed his mother and father and his aunt and uncle and all the others. He ran passed them and didn't look back as he grabbed onto Shisui, letting out a choked sob.
And Shisui held him—because Shisui knew him better than anyone, always had. He knew how to comfort him and listen to him and he was everything Itachi had always wanted to be.
"I know why, I know why, I know why." Itachi sobbed into Shisui's shirt, his sobs mixing with laughter. His heart felt like it would burst as he gripped the fabric tightly beneath his hands, not wanting to believe that this could be a dream or a genjutsu or anything other than death.
"Why?" He heard Shisui finally ask. He looked up at him, and he could see his blurry outline through his own tears. It was like…like looking through glass. He was smiling—because Shisui never stopped smiling.
"Because you're beautiful."
Because I love you.
He was finally free. He had given Sasuke what he wanted and needed. Revenge. Power. Sasuke was happy and he was happy and there was nothing else that needed to be done, it was all in the hands of Sasuke's friend now, the Kyuubi container. But he knew that with the power he had given Naruto and the power he had given Sasuke, it would all work out in the end. He was dead and Sasuke would live.
And that was enough for him.
It had always been enough.
(A\N: because Itachi loved Konoha above all else. What better way for him to die than to finally be able to return to the village that he worked so hard to protect? Once again, you guys can take this as you want. ItaShisui friendship or romance, it could be either. :D I hope you enjoyed it.
I wrote this a while back but just never uploaded it. I've been having really bad writer's block...and all I seem to be able to write at the moment is angst, but not in Shisui, Shades of Grey, or my other stories...it's...weird...but hopefully I can get back on track soon. :) the next chapter of Shades of Grey should be done soon, after all.
Sincerely, Lady Hanaka)