//// ...He truly was all I've ever wanted, and at times.. It is like I can still feel him near me.. Lingering just beyond my grasp, my touch.. Sometimes I question- Is it a ghost I keep searching for, or something else? Am I still chasing after the past, unable to escape the only thing that has ever driven me? ..Or.. Call me crazy.. Is it that he is still out there somewhere? He shielded himself from me once before in the black darkness of deception... Laying under the starlit night sky... I can't help but believe he tricked me all over again... ////

- - - -

Remember those walls I built
Well, baby, their tumbling down
And they didn't even put up a fight
They didn't even make a sound
I found a way to let you in
But I never really had a doubt
Standing in the light of your halo,
I've got my angel now
It's like I've been awakened
Every rule I had you breaking
It's the risk that I'm taking
I ain't ever gonna shut you out.

- - - -

Golden was the light beaming down from the heavens, warm upon bared, alabaster skin and loose-fitting, white material. I felt strangely peaceful during these calm afternoons, briskly sauntering from the safety of the walkways. The sun just overhead was caressing in it's loving heat, and brilliant in the way it lit the scene I allowed my eyes to slowly slide over. In contented silence I took everything in- I was so far away from the shinobi world, practically on the other side of the globe from all that. For the first time in forever, I was actually exposing myself in public, and I was completely unarmed. In one thin hand I had clasped a paper cylinder, which was the container for the cherry ice I was indulging in. It was one of the only sweet treats that held my interest. It was the perfect, chilled, light snack for the nice, warm days in the tiny city.

Today was the first day of a two-day festival- I had no clue what these people were celebrating, but that didn't truly bother me. This town was tiny, practically nonexistent; It was not the home of any special resource, product, or people, and it was lost to ways of the warring villages monopolizing the world in senseless power-struggle. Nobody out there even cared to pay this place any mind. It was of no use to anybody...

Except for me, perhaps. I had given up for the time being, just wanting to be away from all the things that caused me turmoil. It was the way of the ninja that destroyed all my years prior to this very moment. They still troubled me still, but for now I felt.. Strangely excited. There must have been something in the air, but for the first time in my life I was carefree. My belly fluttered, and my heart thumped calm, but happy in my chest, and I lifted my sweet ice to my lips, the tip of my tongue flickering out to lap at the sweet and chilly snack.

I was a wanderer now- I had no purpose here, but I was happy just watching the children of the village frolic about, some on foot, and others speeding along on various wheeled-devices. The voices surrounding me chattered, and merchants sold various goods, calling out polite offers to me as I passed their stands, and gave them gentle shakes of the head. And in the distance there was a sound- Music of some sort. Naturally, in my unhurried pace, I allowed my ears to lead me toward it, finding I had nothing better to do than be entertained by local talent and traditions.

My anxious feet began to trail along faster, though, when I started to grow near, something inside was pushing me to quickly approach, an unknown sort of excitement building within. I did not understand my sudden longing, but with a new sort of haste, I at last made it to the tiny crowd of people watching over a single musician who was sitting, and playing his stringed instrument upon the flat surface of the expanded walkway. Comfortably, I assume, he was perched upon a woven cloth mat, one leg extended outward, and the other curled, and tucked beneath the outstretched one. On his thigh the mass of his instrument was rested, while the neck spanned out in a single ray, and was clasped by thin fingers. At one side sat a bamboo mat, where a stick of festival sweet-dumplings awaited so temptingly, then just in front of the crowd, the case for the instrument sat open, beckoning spare change from strangers pockets, a token of appreciation for the music this man was making. His strumming hand paused, and reached down to clasp the skewer his food was pierced by, and he slipped one dumpling into his mouth before setting the others to the side, and all over he started playing.

Something about this person felt familiar, and my beating heart thumped madly within me, an unknown force pulling me closer. I parted the crowd in order to stand in front of everybody else, wanting my own turn in the best seat for the musical splendor. The man playing was wearing a hat that conformed to his head and then a long rim hung down covering the upper parts of his face and the back of his head. His upper body was loosely covered in a beige haori that faded to a muted purple color at the edges of the sleeves, which matched exactly to the color of his loose-fitting pants that cut off just below the knee. Upon his otherwise bare feet were a pair of sandals, one of which was slid off, just to be slid back on over and over. It must have been some sort of unconscious action. This man's fingers masterfully slid about the neck of the instrument to form the chords as he strummed, beginning the intro to a song I had never heard, nor did it sound like anything I would be interested in. The beat was bouncy, but mellow, and the tune was an almost happy sort of sound. It was very unfitting for me. I wasn't so concentrated on that, though, I was still mulling over my suspicions, lowering myself to a crouch, though it seemed as if the man playing lowered his head in time with me, so I could not get a single glimpse of his face.

But when he began to softly sing the words to the easy tune, I instantly knew who it was beneath those baggy clothes, and that shielding hat. The most troublesome part of the epiphany was that my mind was still steadily trying to deny the truth of things which was right here in front of my face, begging me to notice. I had seen him wither and die right in front of me. I looked down with empty eyes at his fallen body; the bruised, and bloodied, lifeless body the day he died, and now here he was directly before me, singing a welcoming tune, and practically mocking me.

Or, was that even his intent? I kept silent as I watched him, his head only lifting enough for me to stare at his pretty lips as they formed the words to his song, his lips that pulled softly into a smile to suit the playful beat, the joyful sound of the words sliding easily from his throat. I was in such awe, the truth of the past playing in my head, the vision of the traitorous man I had imagined all those years colliding with that kind elder brother I once knew. The cold, deceptive man that turned an uncaring shoulder on me so many years ago.. He had died that day on the battlefield, and here sat the man I used to know, the Itachi I used to have so serenely in my constant company.

At last he looked up at the minute crowd before him, but I let out a deep sigh, realizing that he wasn't at all -looking- at anybody. I should have known that he would have been blind by now, but once I was finally able to catch a glimpse of the silvery hue to his once dark optics, I was at last aware. Something inside my heart felt as if it faded out- Itachi didn't even know I was here right now. He, the one who had dedicated his life to 'saving' me, had me directly in front of him and he had no idea. It was so hard for me to admit to myself, but he seemed almost.. Pathetic now. He was just a dull shadow of the shinobi he once was. He was a fallen god sitting here at home with the fleas of the world. But, then again, he had hated the ninja world, hadn't he? He hated everything about fighting and war. In truth, it was all very pointless, and just the same as I had done, Itachi escaped to this small town secluded from the world, and he was free from it. This was the dead man's form of heaven, his Eden until the day he passed away quietly beneath the radar of the busy shinobi warfare. I nodded to myself, accepting my sibling's decision, glad enough just to be aware of the truth. Now I knew where my brother really was, and with that knowledge, I felt myself happy. Truly happy.

The song was finished off, and a few stray kids that had plopped down on their bottoms whined out in displeasure, one in particular speaking out. "Oi.. Mister Ichjiro, C'mon, play another!" The young girl tugged at her ragged yukata as she pouted, a mess of brown hair hanging around her tan face, and I simply turned my nose up just looking at the girl. What a poor little urchin she must have been- She wasn't even worthy of speaking to Itachi, and.. What was that she had called him? Ichjiro? With a shake of my head, I looked back at my brother, just to take in his cool, amused reaction. I truly did not understand it at all- Itachi was smiling warmly, but calmly in the direction of the young girl, the rim of his hat poised over his eyes, casting a shadow over almost all of his face.

"I think I'm going to take a break for a bit.." His voice was pure and soft as he spoke to the little girl who had addressed him, as well as the village kids who were pouting now. His voice was just the same as I remembered when we were younger. It was the same voice and tone that had spoken so gently and the memory of it was so fond to me, hearing him share that kind voice with anybody else made me feel a distinct tinge of jealously. Oh well.

I finally steadied my shaken heart, deciding now that it was best to set my sibling free, rather than troubling him with the horrid past he had gladly escaped. A pale hand reached into my baggy sleeve, and I withdrew the remainder of the coins I had on my person. The shining trinkets jingled as they collided with the rest that had been in the instrument case, and with that I let this all go.

Itachi was happy, and so to was I; My brother was alive, and well, and content with things, and though my contribution was minor, I had repaid my sibling slightly, and if I ever met with Itachi again, I would continue to give back to him, as my heart and soul was completely in debt to this blind musician [not shinobi] sitting here on the walkway in a place that was the last hidden corner of the world. Finally, both of us could have our peace of mind. I brought myself to my feet, turning away from my dear sibling, and sauntering off, lapping at the sweet ice that had become slightly slushy during the pause.

"So, that's it..?"

I stopped, hearing my sibling's voice speak out, even though the crowd had diminished in his time of break. I glanced over my shoulder, and just the same, my elder's head turned to meet me, a single hand raising up to lift the rim of the hat so the blind Uchiha could meet eye to eye with me.

"You're just going to walk away from me like that.. Sasuke?"

Itachi's voice had become slightly more toneless than it had been when he spoke to those children, but I suddenly wasn't worried about that- My heart jumped into my throat, and it was pounding like crazy. Itachi.. He had known the entire time that I had been here? How did he know? How in the world did he know? Without the slightest reluctance, I padded softly, slowly back toward my blind sibling, watching in awe as a tiny smile found it's way to the elder's lips.

Itachi was smiling? Smiling at me? Something in that simple action made a tingling sensation erupt inside my chest, and just as I had been before, I found myself sitting down in front of Itachi, those silvered eyes moving with me, watching me but not at all seeing. Shyly, I found my own voice, and spoke up, my built-up curiosity ringing clear in the tone I struck. "..How did you know it was me..?"

Those pretty lips remained painted into a most sunny, pleasant expression, telling of a most otherworldly joy possessing the elder. It was happiness that I had never found myself associating with my sibling, Itachi having seemed nothing more than melancholy, even in the days that we still had our brotherly bonds. I felt myself being pulled in, my interest apparent as I kept ebony eyes glued to every little motion from the older male. Itachi was so nonchalant, taking his time, because now he had such indulgence. A single thumb plucked at the very top string of the instrument he was holding, while the other hand turned a small peg, tone-sensitive ears waiting until the correct tune could be heard, and once that action was complete, only then did Itachi speak up to answer my inquiry.

"..Of course I knew it was you, Otouto.. I don't need to see to know when your close to me.. I always know whether you're near or far, if you're hurt, or suffering, if you're happy or sad.. I know a lot when it comes to you... The real question is, how is it that you managed to locate me?" While speaking Itachi never once looked up from his tuning, of course.. It really didn't matter where he was looking since he couldn't see anything, but I found it to be a very different persona- He was utterly unworried. The answer I received, though, I was not surprised. It was believable to me that Itachi had a sense when it came to his younger brother, after all, the man had given up a heavy chunk of his life in complete dedication to.. Me- Those words seemed like the truth of the universe, and that was such a sweet thing to finally receive from the once-deceptive elder male. I would gladly return the favor, though I paused for a moment to nibble at the sweet ice, the treat quickly becoming low, and almost completely consumed.

"..It was just.. Happenstance. I wasn't looking, nor did I expect to find you here.. I thought you were dead, after all. Though.. Madara did tell me the truth.. About you."

The elder male, still busy in his task, merely nodded to my words, speaking up softly. "I assumed he would."

I soon found myself inching closer, my complete and total interest captured by my enigmatic sibling, and within myself I searched for something further to say, not at all wanting to hover in silence, when I was remembering.. Itachi was really all I had ever wanted. Itachi was the one I chased after all of my life, and now here he was, just calmly sitting with no more intent to run away. The elder just remained completely calm, having finished with his tuning, and now he strummed the instrument, enjoying the simple pleasure of the completed task, and the lovely sound produced by his frail fingers easily moving along the strings.

"..I didn't know you could play any musical instruments.." My words drew up another one of those soft, amused smiles from the older male, and I found myself basking in the warmth of it, moving only closer to my brother, practically inches away from being able to touch him. Without much pause, aside from the halts amidst his sentence in which he strummed, Itachi replied, his voice purred and hypnotic.

"..There is a lot... That you do not know... About me... Isn't there, Sasuke?"

I offered a smile of my own, even though Itachi would not see, but quickly I verbally stated my agreeing with him, perhaps a bit ashamed, even though it was never my fault that I knew little to nothing about my own elder brother, the elder brother that -loved- me so. I did know one thing, however: Now that I had found Itachi, I didn't want to leave him.. I could have walked away so easily if only the elder had said nothing, but I probably would stick around, watching the older male constantly until the day that I found the guts to reveal myself. That was not necessary now. Now I was overwhelmed with a sudden urge, a need, and a hope.. A hope that Itachi would allow me to stay, so we could be like this for the rest of time.

It sounded like such a peaceful, happy existence. I wanted to have such a thing for myself, and my brother, neither of us having known happiness for such a long time.

"..Itachi..?" I spoke up, my voice muttered, as if I hadn't meant to say anything at all, but even so Itachi responded to me, quietly offering a small 'hm?', but still not looking up from beneath the rim of that concealing hat.

I knew why this town had made me feel that unknown excitement, why it had pulled me in, why it gave me a soothing feeling of peace- It was Itachi's presence calling out to me. "..Itachi.." I whispered, this time meaning to do so. "..Let me stay with you.. Please. Your death was never the ending I wanted.. Your life gives my life meaning, purpose.. You mean.. So much to me."

For the first time, the elder fell still, as my own obsidian optics were watching his pause, waiting for some sign, some sort of response. Once Itachi found movement again, he reached out, pulling the instrument case near to him, and he slid the musical device inside, closing it safely within.

"..Very well, little brother." The words poured out, straight, and simple, completely honest and without any resistance. I couldn't help but smile to myself, moving closer now, impossibly closer, closer than I should have gotten publically, but.. I couldn't care right now. I hovered on my knees, just barely above my sibling's lap, and curious fingers reached up, clasping that damned hat, and I easily pulled it away, at last exposing Itachi's face completely. That immaculate face, pale and perfect, raven bangs falling about the elder's forehead, and long, dark hair that flowed down Itachi's back, and over his shoulders. He seemed just the same as I remembered him, the only thing that had changed were his eyes, now completely without sight, which was a saddening loss, but.. I could still admire him. My hesitant fingers softly touched the older male's cheek, as if to make sure he was real, that he was truly here, and with such a reassurance, I leaned myself down to press my lips to my sibling's, my aching heart too fulfilled to question whether or not Itachi would reject me before I even made my attempt at affection.

The older Uchiha, thankfully, did not push me away, however, instead doing the exact opposite, lifting his chin to receive the kiss, his own lips longing for the feel of my own, though the touch was mellow and almost shy, us being still almost alien to one another, even as our lives revolved around each other. The moment of connection passed very quickly, but we remained close, breathing for each other with the faint taste of cherries lingering on our tongues. At long last Itachi spoke up, offering a suggestion. "I suppose I should show you to where you'll be sleeping, since you wish to stay with me."

I smiled devilishly, my lips lowering to my brother's once more for a passing moment, and just another tiny taste. "I would like that."

- - - -

Baby where I'm looking now
I'm surrounded by your embrace
Baby I can see your halo
You know you're my saving grace
Your everything I need and more
It's written all over your face
Baby I can feel your halo
Pray it won't fade away

- - - -

After a short, brisk walk, we made it to my sibling's small home tucked away in the old buildings of the small downtown area. Not so surprisingly, he hadn't strayed far from his home- I didn't ask if it was because he was blind, but I assumed. It suited us both just fine, because we both had something very specific on our minds.

The elder led me through the door of his home, and through the fair sized kitchen area, into the cozy livingroom. The walls were mostly white, though some were the original brick of the building, whatever it had been in a past life, and the floors beneath were creaky, older wood, but they were preserved and stained nicely to a dark, glossy finish. Overall the home was a reasonably roomy living quarter for a single person, antique looking, but with very clear air, the sun from outside pouring in warmly from wide windows. It smelled sweet as I padded through, into a hall, and through the door to the one bedroom; Lavender petals, and sweet dumplings were the only things to be made out in the enclosed space, the signature of my brother having lived here. The bedroom was all double windows, not near enough wall space for much more than a large bed, and a bookshelf. I was puzzled, though- Itachi had so many windows, but he couldn't even see the blooming flowers just outside in the window boxes. And he certainly had quite a collection of books, but no more ability to read the words printed inside. I chose, for now, to just stand in the doorway, overtaken by the sudden sadness inside.

I shook it off with reassurances- Now that Itachi had me around, I could aid him in many things. I know I couldn't give him the power to see the flowers outside in the sun, but I could share those books with him once more by reading them aloud for him. And beyond those simple things, I knew my brother had found ways to be content- He had found so much he had not known in the shinobi world, so much to treasure.

Not so hesitant as me, Itachi walked straight to his bed, turning and sitting upon the edge with no difficulty finding it, and using a charm he knew so well now, but had never used before, he gave me the same smile he had out on the sidewalks a few minutes ago, speaking up softly in his deep purr of a voice. "This is it, Sasuke.. Do you like what you see?"

I gave a nod, even as I knew Itachi could not tell. "..I do." My words felt meaningless coming out, but only because I knew small talk was a matter to be skipped. To me it didn't matter either way, as long as I stayed with my sibling, the one person I had who was precious to me.

With a confident stride forward, I joined my brother upon the mattress, though I made myself comfortable on top of his lap, my stomach fluttering unbelievably, and my adrenaline pumping within my veins, raising my need for..something more. My lips once more found their way down to Itachi's, not lingering in shy sensitivity this time as my tongue hungrily pushed beyond the boundaries of my mouth, received in a harmonious form by my dear elder sibling's, his own muscle slick, and wet, and warm as it slid against my own. Already I could hear the elder moaning softly in his throat, lusting for the taste of cherry ice, and the feel of my rump rocking slowly against his lap. Consumed with lust, we devoured one another, noting that we had been apart for much too long, though at last I pulled away with only the wet sound of our lips disconnecting.

"..Do you.. Want me, Itachi?" My voice echoed out soft, and truly with a questioning tone to it, but it didn't serve to discourage. Thin fingers trailed up from my hips, rubbing gently at my sides, touching as if they could feel the skin beneath, and I took that as a sign, untying my sash, and sliding the white garment from my shoulder's so my brother could touch me as he so pleased.

"Hai, I do, Sasuke." I could feel my cheeks stained red hot at the low timbre of my sibling's voice, his reestablishing verbally the fact that was almost perfectly clear from the hardened lump pressing up against me. I inhaled deeply, my hips still rocking, though it was not nearly enough, and not wishing to delay any longer, I lifted myself a bit, reaching down to unbutton my pants, and slide them down around my milky white thighs. Once more, in perfect time and rhythm with me, Itachi mirrored with complete accuracy, opening up his own loose fitting pants so they practically fell away from his stifled erection. The hardened organ, once free, reached straight up so the silken, wet head rubbed against my puckered entrance. I wrapped my arms around my elder brother's shoulders, my breath coming out in excited, apprehensive pants, and feeling one of Itachi's hands clasp the rigid organ to align it with my needy body, I began to slowly lower myself. I savored every second, taking my time; The throbbing member pressed deliciously against my entrance, the pressure steadily growing until it slid easily into me, the satin skin, slicked in precum slipping inside me without strain, and the two of us chorused one another with groans of pleasure finally at last on it's way. With no more reason to hold back, I let myself drop completely down to my elder's lap, hearing his breath hitch, and taking in the lovely pale skin of his neck as his head was angled back slightly. I purred at the vision, leaning in to kiss the porcelain surface as I rocked against my brother again, churning his engorged flesh within myself, feeling the throbbing mass invade me completely, pushing deep inside my lower belly. Now he moaned without my accompanying him, as I took everything in silently, but my own alabaster flesh broke out in goosebumps at the wonderful sound of Itachi -moaning- as I rode him.

Now I at last felt myself adjusted to his size, and I lifted up, sliding the slick erection out, my entire body shivering at the sensation of the large piece of flesh rubbing me on the inside, and with lust as a motivation I lowered again, my hips and back moving together accordingly to almost fully remove my sibling's member, and just as seamlessly go back down upon it. I had no hesitance in mind, my body raising and falling, wanting badly to feel the rigid member driven into me, and Itachi must have felt the same instinctual urge, his hands finding their way to my rounded bottom, where they grabbed, kneading and pulling apart, stretching me beyond my limit until I moaned aloud, dropping myself down harder on him, only to feel his hips snap up to meet me, that thick erection slamming into me deeply.

With the pace picked up, and our bodies rushing to meet each other, hard, fast, and without any restraint, I leaned about Itachi's shoulders to keep myself up, my arms wrapped around him desperately as my legs spread wide, giving him plenty of room once he took over, his hips lunging up into me with quick raps of wet skin on skin echoing out. I practically whined, groaning each and every time I was thrust into, the hard member pushing against the sensitive bud inside me, and feeling as though I simply could not get enough air, I panted in a quick rhythm, the coat of condensation-like sweat beading upon my pale flesh, the heat radiating from between my legs making me unbelievably hot, too hot, I felt. But the sensation that surged up from my rump, into my lower belly, collecting in my groin, it burned, and tingled, and it was mounting to the greatest peak of pleasure I had ever achieved, and with one last snap of my elder brother's steady hips, I was over the edge, falling into bliss, my entire body shivering, tensing, going out of control, and I moaned aloud as the spheres beneath my rigid member tightened, and streams of pearly fluid erupted from inside me, spurting out to dapple across mine and my sibling's cut abdomen.

I was spent, breathing hard, my muscles relieving from the tenseness, and melting into a boneless state when Itachi met his finish as well, gasping and holding in that breath as his load was released, filling me up much too full, like some heavy weight inside. I groaned lowly at the new feeling of being marked my brother's own; His sweet essence was within me in far too much abundance, and as much was apparent as he pulled himself from within me, and the creamy substance dripping out of my abused orifice messily pooled on the soft skin above Itachi's member.

We collapsed together on top of the bed, our bodies entwined, and no words were said. The music of our breathless states is the only thing that filled the air. I devoured as much oxygen as I could, soon sneaking my face to rest against my sibling's chest, deeply inhaling his pretty scent; All the lavender and sweet dumplings I could ever long for.

- - - -

//// ...Lavender. Sweet dumplings. Cherry ice. Beautiful music. With love, what use did anybody have for vision anyway? It seems I knew more about my brother than he thought... ////

Owari