Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.

Death.

He knew all about it. He had his fair share of those in his early days even before he joined the famous criminal organization.

He knew about death, he watched death crawl over his victims…after all, he and the rest of the group are harbingers of death…

Yet this time, for him…

It felt…


On rare occasions, Kisame could have a glimpse of a disturbed Itachi. This is one of the rare occasions if not the first.

Itachi was wearing a disturbed look on his face as he sat on the ledge of the window, looking at the inky blackness outside.

If there is one thing, this man is really unpredictable with all his emotions tucked within the deepest corners of his soul. Such being is what you would call dangerous, calculating, cunning…

"So, that was your little brother," he said to elicit a conversation from the tacit man.

"Hn."

"He looks weak," he commented offhandedly and was aware of the fleeting flash of anger that crossed the man's eyes.

During his duration in this organization, he had learned some things.

And mostly, it is about his partner.

First, Uchiha Itachi is a man considered dangerous despite his quiet demeanor. Ah…with that peaceful look on his calm face, he seems to exude harmless threats but only those who knew him, who heard about him can say that he is a dangerous man…a formidable man who massacred his entire clan.

Another fact about Itachi is he is a person hard to read. His calm features would betray nothing of his turmoil…of his hidden secrets…yet if you would look onto those crimson eyes, you could read the emotions he tucked to the deepest corner of his soul…

His eyes of crimson color…

Those pair of eyes that could give you death…that could torture you and all…

He sighed.


Now that he thought about it, there was this vague memory from three to four years ago when he and his partner sat atop the highest peak of Konoha while waiting for the orders from Pain. They decided to just stay there and watch.

And it was in this moment when someone had appeared from somewhere.

It was also in this moment that Kisame had a glimpse of a quiet anger around Itachi as the man spoke about Orochimaru.

Ah but it was understandable. Orochimaru was one of the legendary sannins who coveted immortality and joined Akatsuki. Later on, after his plan to kill Itachi and get his body was foiled, he left the organization and went into hiding. He could say this was the first time he ever heard of him again.

"You're telling me he is interested in that boy as well," Kisame said and chuckled just remembering the shameful look on Orochimaru's face yet his eyes seemed to promise vengeance.

"Hn…after all, he was a man who has a grudge against Itachi," was the reply.

"Ch…using the power of the nine-tailed fox to get to you eh?" he said to his quiet partner who did not even make any attempts to actually respond.

The man smiled mysteriously as he eyed both. "Ah but I believed he set his eyes on a different boy."

"Different boy," Itachi mumbled.

"Ah…he is interested in his eyes anyway…the eyes that could give him immense power…"

Kisame saw the baleful look from Itachi's eyes as he stared at the stranger.

It was only when he saw him some months later on that hotel that he understood what that stranger meant.

The boy was none other than his little brother, Uchiha Sasuke, a guy who has a striking resemblance with his brother.


Itachi had been an enigma to him from the moment they became partners yet it was only this time that Kisame felt the desire to find out about this man…

Zetsu had just returned to inform them of the tragic news. Deidera had died along with Tobi and Uchiha Sasuke.

Inside, he was surprised to know that the one he mentioned as weak before had now grown stronger, enough to defeat Deidera in a death match.

When he followed his partner outside, he thought it was odd to see him crying. After all, why would a guy cry for someone he tried to kill?

And deep down as Kisame would never admit it, he felt the urge to empathize with the man who seemed to be hiding his pain behind the mask of a criminal.

"I can always listen, Itachi."


Kisame bent his head as he knelt besides the now lifeless body of the partner he respected. Yes, among all others, he has a deep sense of respect and loyalty towards the now dead Uchiha.

He acknowledged his prowess and in fact even admired it.

Zetsu and Tobi came back carrying the lifeless body of his partner and after a moment of silence, they have agreed to bury him instead.

It was Kisame who had suggested it.

Because Uchiha Itachi deserves to be honored too. People know him as the man who killed his entire clan. They never knew of the man that hid behind that title of a criminal.

But Kisame knew.

He understood.

And he felt truly sorry for that twisted fate that befell his partner. Ah, if only things would have been different for this guy…

Only few of them are left now so only a small number, perhaps just five, gathered around and after a long-night vigil, one started to leave after another.

Only Kisame was left behind. A small smile, a smile that did not even reach his eyes, curved his lips as he stared down at the lifeless form of his partner which now he would admit to himself was a comrade.

"Don't worry Itachi-san, I'll do it," he said with a promise as he heaved a deep sigh.

He was quiet after hearing him talk about his family and particularly about his little brother who goes by the name of Sasuke.

"He was the only one I truly cared," was the soft murmur from the prodigy as they both stood outside, as Itachi let the rain fell on his face, as he talked about his past, freely.

In all honesty, Kisame could not find words to say at all. He had been right in his assumption that pain was hidden deeply in the man's eyes, scarred his soul deeply as well.

Murderer…missing-nin…former ANBU captain…prodigy…

Those were the words to describe him…at least from those who never knew him well…

But for someone like him who finally understood, Itachi is none of those…he is just a lonely soul seeking redemption in the hands of his little brother…hiding his pain behind those dangerous scarlet eyes…

"Kisame."

There was a note in his tone that he could not define but it made him look at the man nonetheless and there he met his eyes and saw nothing there but blankness.

"Hn.?"

"Watch over him will you?"

It was easy to deduce that he was referring to his little brother. After all, the context of the conversation had always been about him.

"I know he has gotten stronger but there is still something more he has yet to learn."

Kisame knew that his comrade might not make it. He could actually feel it tingling.

First, Itachi is already sick. He is being killed by an unknown disease…and from what he just said, he could very well tell that the fated fight of the brothers is near.

He sighed when he realized he was waiting for a reply. Then he nodded.

"I will."


Death.

He knew all about it. He had his fair share of those in his early days even before he joined the famous criminal organization.

He knew about death, he watched death crawl over his victims…after all, he and the rest of the group are harbingers of death…

Yet this time, for him…

It felt…

Different…

It was not right to feel this way…to empathize with a fallen warrior but for Kisame, it is right…

Because the one who was visited by death was his comrade. And he could feel the pain inside of him…pain of knowing even in his death, Itachi had some things left undone…he felt a pang of regret for what might have been for the man had things been done differently. And now, he was gone and he was left with a burden to look over the boy who now grew up to be as formidable as his brother.

Even criminals with hardened heart and soul had goodness in them…

He gathered his sword and stood up to find the one man who was now officially an Akatsuki member.

He gave a curt nod to the man and left him alone.


First off, in my opinion, Itachi is really a good man despite what he had done and everyone can already deduce after reading the manga that he cares for his brother a lot…

It was really sad that he had to die in the story but I guess that was to be expected.

I like his partnership with Kisame. They at least share respect for each other as compared with the rest of the group with the exception of Pain and Konan.

And well…gee…just that…I really have nothing to say except that I feel sorry for the brothers…their bond was indeed borne from hate and love…

Thanks for reading.

Please Review.