Disclaimer: I own nothing
Warnings: Language, blood, eventually yaoi. Most of my information comes from Wikipedia and other websites, so if some of this information is wrong, please tell me so I can fix it. Also, this story is not meant to offend, insult, or make fun of anyone.
Beta-ed by the wonderful Akiru-chan
Sleep; the natural periodic suspension of consciousness during which the powers of the body are restored and for humans, regular sleep is essential for survival. However, for some people, the simple act of falling asleep can turn deadly.
'The small room that had once been so clean was now a disaster, with books falling off the shelves and lamps knocked to the ground. The pristine cream walls that his mother had taken so much pride into painting were now splattered; mockingly, in her own blood. Crimson liquid pooled from her body, further staining the faux fur rug, while his father's body was slumped across the oak desk, blood spilling onto the computers keyboard; a butcher's knife shoved deep into his chest.
A trail of blood drops followed him down the hallway as he made his way through the otherwise spotless house. It was still nighttime and the moon was high in the midnight sky, casting a faint light through the windows as he made his way to the last occupied bedroom. With a quiet turn of the knob, he pushed the door open and the moonlight illuminated the pale face of the rooms' occupant. His feet made no noise as they padded across the carpeted floor and finally came to a rest beside the bed.
Lifeless eyes gazed down at the sleeping teenager and his grip tightened on the knife handle. The young teen looked so vulnerable; it would only take a single motion to simply end his life. His arm rose up over his head to deliver the final blow when the teens eyelids fluttered open. Black eyes gazed at him, unfocused at first but as they adjusted to the dark, they widened in fear.
There was a small nagging in the back of his mind that told him to stop and put the knife down, but he could not bring himself to focus on it; his mind seemed too fuzzy at the moment. He heard his name being called again, this time in a more urgent, terrified way. His own eyes focused clearly on his younger brother in front of him and his arm started to descend.
A loud piercing wail shattered the fogginess in his mind and his eyes widened at the scene played out in front of him. His body started to shake and he dropped to his knees, vaguely hearing his name being called repeatedly.'
There was a sharp, stinging sensation on his cheek and the raven jolted awake. He was breathing heavily and he could feel the hot, prickling feeling behind his eyes that indicated he was close to crying. He blinked his eyes a couple of times to clear them away and turned to the left, ignoring the warmth that spread across his cheek
"Did you just slap me?"
The driver chuckled, "It woke you up didn't it?"
Itachi glared at his friend, "A simple yelling of the name would have worked."
Kisame shrugged, "I tried that; a couple times actually. It was the only thing I could think of without stopping the car; you were starting to shake you know."
Itachi turned away from the other male and glanced out the window as the rolling hills flashed by outside. It was not surprising that he feel asleep during the car ride, he had not slept in a few days in hopes that it would keep the dreams at bay. Apparently, that was not going to work.
A scowl formed across his lips as he continued to watch the scenery. He was thankful that Kisame didn't question him about what he had seen during his brief moment that he had fallen asleep but he presumed that it was because he already knew. Kisame knew what happened all those months ago and it was also Kisame who pushed him into taking the institutes offer three months ago when they had first called him. The idea at first had seemed ludicrous, but after talking about it with his uncle, they had both deemed it necessary for the future.
Whether it was his future or his company's future was still unseen.
Regardless, he knew that his situation could have turned out much worse than just taking a year off from the company. Even though he would be able to work offsite and Kisame was more than able to run the company during his leave, the what if's constantly plagued his mind, and he always found himself thinking of everything that had gone in his favor during the past seven months.
Like the fact that his Uncle Madara had been able to keep this whole ordeal under wraps from the media.
Or that the judge actually listened to his plea that he didn't remember doing anything that night.
Thankful for the fact that Sasuke had woken up and had enough sense in him to have moved away from the descending knife that night. And that the younger Uchiha's scream had been able to clear his fuzzy mind.
He felt a prodding sensation in his side, and he turned his attention back to his business partner, who had a frown on his face, "I know what you're thinking about, Uchiha."
Itachi raised an eyebrow, "Is that so?"
"Yeah; you're always thinking about one of two things. Either your company or the little brat you call brother." Kisame stated as his eyes focused on the road, "Right now it could be either but I have this feeling that you're thinking about the brat."
"He's not a brat, Kisame."
The other male snorted, "I may be an only child Itachi, but I know a bratty little brother when I see them. Example one, he hasn't talked to you in seven months. Example two, he did not even see you off and I can bet you anything, he won't come for any visits. Example three-"
"Kisame, enough." Itachi growled. "Sasuke has every right to-"
His partner groaned, "When will you stop protecting him? Four months after that night, they were able to prove everything you said was true, but he still didn't say anything to you. Didn't even acknowledge it; he just left the room."
Itachi stayed silent as the car curved around the winding road. He remembered that day perfectly, as well as the disbelief on Sasuke's face at the judges ruling. His eyes flickered to the trees as they began to thin away, leaving in their wake flat, empty pastures and a gray sky.
"It's supposed to snow tonight." He said softly.
Kisame's eyes glanced to the right and he let out a silent sigh as a large brick building appeared on the horizon. Even though it had been seven months ago, Itachi still hadn't fully recovered from that night, even after the doctors told him he had no control over his actions. The guilt was still there and he suspected it always would be, which was why he had pushed the Uchiha so hard to go to the institute, where he hoped they could do something for his friend.
They pulled into the parking lot and Kisame turned the car off. He opened the door and stood up to stretch, while reading the sign on the red brick, 'Konoha Institute of Disorders'. Next to him, Itachi shut the door softly and Kisame looked his friend over, searching his face for any type of emotion, but found none; his face was once again an unreadable mask. Kisame shut his door as well and locked the car before they started walking to the building.
He didn't blame Itachi for keeping his defenses up; he supposed that he would have done the same thing as well.
After all, seven months ago, Itachi had murdered his parents.
They entered the building and crossed the tiled floor to the receptionist who greeted them with a friendly smile.
"Welcome to Konoha Institute of Disorders, can I help you gentlemen?"
"I have a meeting with Dr. Tsunade at three o' clock." Itachi answered.
The woman looked at the computer and asked, "Uchiha Itachi?" After receiving a nod, she stood up and grabbed a folder, "Please follow me."
Kisame nodded to him before moving to sit down in a chair in the lounge and Itachi followed the secretary, listening to the clicking noise of her shoes against the floor. She led him past several offices with names printed on the doors before finally stopping in front of a frosted glass door and knocked lightly.
A voice responded from inside and the secretary opened the door, allowing Itachi to pass through first, and then shut the door quietly behind her. She walked to the desk, placed the folder on the surface, and then exited the room, closing the door with a resounding click. The woman behind the desk motioned to a chair, which he took and waited for her to talk.
Hazel eyes examined him briefly before she spoke, "Good afternoon Itachi. I'm Tsunade, head doctor here at the Institute." She opened the folder and laced her fingers together, "What did they tell you before you came here Itachi?"
Silence settled throughout the room and Itachi shifted in his long jacket before he finally responded, "They said something about a disorder, which was the only thing I could understand."
Tsunade nodded, "Your report states that you have parasomnia or a sleeping disorder. We treat many forms of sleeping disorders here from insomnia to narcolepsy, but you have a rare disorder called homicidal somnambulism." She glanced at him seriously, "Literally; homicidal sleepwalking."
Itachi raised an eyebrow at her but stayed silent and allowed her to continue.
"Doctors like to make complicated terms for simple words." She answered, "When you were on trail, it was noted that during your childhood you would frequently sleepwalk at night which led your doctor to place you under surveillance for a while. He concluded that your body was under stress and dealing with sleep deprivation from the previous weeks, which caused you to commit the act."
"So why am I here?" Itachi asked.
Tsunade leaned back in her chair, "I believe it was your uncle that called us after the judge declared you innocent three months ago. While the judge didn't suggest it, Mr. Uchiha thought that it would be a good idea to have you treated in case of another incident."
"I didn't think this kind of thing was treatable."
The blond doctor shrugged, "It will take time to figure out what triggered the act that night and we'll need to work it in steps."
Itachi leaned forward, placing his elbows on his knees and resting his chin on his hands, "How long are we talking?"
"At the very least, three months and at the longest, a year. For the first few weeks, you won't be allowed to work on your job to make sure that you can fully relax for a while. Once we think that your sleep schedule is at a normal level, we'll slowly allow you to work and look for anything that may cause problems or trigger you to sleepwalk again." Tsunade answered, watching his face carefully, but no emotion flickered across his features.
"You aren't worried about the other patients, considering my condition?" He asked finally.
She chuckled, "We have security cameras installed, there are nightly patrols and guards, plus the rooms have locks on them. So if you're thinking about the welfare of the others in this building, we thank you for it, but they'll be fine; don't try to get out of this."
Tsunade closed the manila folder and tapped a manicured finger on the desk surface, "Any other questions? No? Then I'll have one of the doctors meet you at the front and help you get settled in."
They stood up and Itachi turned to leave when he heard his name being called softly. He looked back at the doctor and inclined his head slightly, "Yes?"
"No one else knows why you're here and you are under no obligation to tell another patient. I know you don't want to be here, but the faster you accept it, the quicker we can find a treatment."
He nodded his head and swept out of the room, leaving Tsunade rubbing her temple, "Another stubborn one." She muttered under her breath.
Kisame stood up as Itachi entered the lobby area and cocked his head. "Well?"
"I expect you to not run the company into the ground while I'm gone." The raven stated.
Kisame placed a hand over his heart, "Itachi, I thought you trusted me. I'm hurt." He cried with feigned despair and Itachi rolled his eyes at the action. "Come on, let's get your stuff."
They walked out to the parking lot and Kisame opened the trunk so Itachi could pull out his bags. The Uchiha shifted through one of the bags, pulled out a thick black binder and handed it to his business partner. "I won't be allowed to work on anything for the first few weeks, so I'm leaving these proposals with you. When they let me work again, I'll call you so you can inform me on everything that I missed."
The older male huffed; leave it to Itachi to focus on work at a time like this. He felt slight pity towards the man he called boss in knowing that the way he was raised made him act the way he did today. He had only met the eldest Uchiha once during the time that he worked for Itachi and he could immediately tell who drilled the work ethic into Itachi. The man was dead set on business first, then family; no ifs, ands, or buts about it.
He shook his head, vaguely aware that Itachi had started talking again and brought himself to listen.
"Kisame, I know you don't like him, nor want to, but please watch Sasuke for me."
"Like, keep him under the same roof as me, watch him?" He exclaimed.
Itachi shot him a look that clearly said, 'don't be stupid,' and Kisame shrugged sheepishly. "No you big moron, I meant tuck him into bed, tell him a bedtime story, and kiss him good night, watch him."
"That's harsh, man."
He ran a pale hand over his face, why did he hire this man again. "Kisame…"
Kisame held up his hands in mock surrender, "Hey, I understand Itachi. I will watch the little bra- ah, Sasuke for you. He won't like it though."
"He'll learn to deal with it." Itachi answered as he hoisted his bag onto a shoulder and grabbed the handle to the wheelie bag. "You better get going before the storm hits."
They both glanced up to look at the gray clouds that hung low in the sky and Kisame pulled his keys from his pocket. "I'll see you in a few weeks Itachi." He paused and grinned, "Be good and make lots of friends!"
His partner laughed and started the car up as Itachi walked back inside the warm building.
As the doors slid shut behind Itachi, he noticed a brown haired male waiting by the front desk. He smiled warmly at the Uchiha as he made his way across the lobby.
"Hello Mr. Uchiha, I'm Iruka Umino and I'll be your doctor; per say, for your time here. If you will follow me, I'll take you to your room and explain the rules."
Itachi nodded and walked after the doctor. They turned down a corridor, making their way to the elevator that was located at the end of the hallway. It binged lightly as the doors opened and they entered the metal contraption.
After he pressed a button, the doctor turned towards Itachi, "You'll be staying on the eighth floor, with several of the other patients who have sleep disorders. Everyone has a single room so they don't disturb anyone. However, if you are used to sleeping with your partner and require,"
"I don't have a partner." Itachi interrupted as the elevator came to a stop.
"Okay. You'll be able to lock your door for privacy of course, but we have a master key in case of emergency, so don't try to lock yourself in your room. All rooms have simple necessities, such as lamps, desks, and chairs, but any type of electronics aren't allowed in the room unless permission is given. There are common rooms that have televisions and computers for your use, and the library has several computers as well."
They stopped in front of a room and Iruka pushed the door open, "This will be your room for your time here. You have a nice view of the gardens out your window." Iruka glanced at his watch, "Dinner will be starting in about two hours. We usually don't like our patients to miss out on meals, but since it's your first night here, you can choose to miss dinner and settle in instead."
Itachi set his bags on the floor and leaned against the desk. The room was larger than he had expected with two windows facing the courtyard with the desk in between the paned glass. His bed was pushed up against the wall with a small chair at the foot of it and a nightstand table at the head. A dresser sat to the right of the door and a small closet was located next to the bathroom.
"You can rearrange the room anyway you like." Iruka said from the doorway and held out a piece, "Here's your schedule, it outlines when you'll need to see Tsunade, when meals are severed, etc."
Itachi crossed the room and took the piece of paper from the doctors' hand. His eyes skimmed the paper before he set it down on the dresser. "Thank you."
"Do you have any questions?" Itachi shook his head, "Then I'll leave you to unpack. If you have any questions, my office is down the hall and to your left."
The raven watched as the brown haired man vanished from the door. Outside his room, he could hear someone shouting profanities, followed by a loud thud and he let out a sigh as he went to shut the door. Once the door was shut, his room became considerably quiet, with the exception of the heater, which hummed softly overhead. His eyes flickered to the window, where outside the sun was starting to set.
He crossed the carpeted room quietly and placed a hand on the cold glass, outside, it started to snow.
A/N:So it seems that I finally cracked and decided to post my first Itachi/Naruto fic after staring at it for about a week, although Akiru wishes it was the other one I'm working on. Side note; yes, this is a real disorder, although it is rare.