Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Warnings: Perhaps some language, small lemon and I think that's it. You clicked the link...
A/N: Last part, I hope you enjoy it. Mentions of Death Note and two characters. Akiru chan deserves a reward, since she made me post this. So, if any typo's are found, blame her since I was forced to put it up. Hope you feel better. Enjoy!
It seemed like some sick joke as his eyes stared down at the title of the book and he realized that he was looking into his own face. His name wasn't that popular and he still could have brushed it off as mere coincidence, but the picture on the cover made him think otherwise.
He carefully opened the book and his eyes skimmed over the first sentence. The urge to throw the book across the room was strong but he found he could only let it slip through his fingers. His heart pounded painfully in his chest and his breath came in short gasps.
His entire childhood had been written down in that book.
Naruto placed his hands on the table to give himself a sort of balance and his eyes skimmed the title of the next book.
Fingers stretched out to reach for the book. If Itachi knew everything from his past, then he had a right to know Itachi's. His fingers had barely brushed the book's cover when a cold hand tightened around his wrist. Naruto's body tensed and he wheeled around, only to come face to face with Itachi.
"What are you doing?"
The voice was cold and hard as steel, and his eyes bore into him. Naruto tried to speak but he found that forming words was becoming difficult. He had never seen Itachi's eyes so harsh and he knew that he was the cause of the raven's anger, but he had his own reasons to be angry as well.
"I should ask you the same question." He snapped, "Why the hell do you have a book in here with my name on it? And why is it filled with my past; are you a stalker, 'cause I swear I'll call the police."
Itachi chuckled, "And tell them what, that you broke in and trespassed?"
"I didn't break in, the door was unlocked and I thought that you were…I thought you left me." He paused, "I, last night; it wasn't a dream."
The raven released his wrist and let his arm fall to the side, "No, it wasn't, but you weren't supposed to see that. You were supposed to forget and think it was a dream."
Naruto frowned, "Why? Was I a bad fuck or something?"
"You wouldn't understand."
He growled and grabbed Itachi's arm, "Then make me understand."
Itachi ran a hand over his face before peeling Naruto's hand from his arm. "If I do, you have to promise me that you'll listen to the entire story before you say anything or even think about leaving. I tried to keep you from becoming involved but it's too late for that now. No doubt the council has been alerted by now and you'll have to make a choice."
Naruto raised an eyebrow at the statement but didn't question it. "Fine."
The Uchiha gestured to a chair while he leaned against the wooden desk. Once Naruto was curled up on the plush chair, Itachi sighed and crossed his arms, "To start with, I haven't read the past chapters in your book. I don't know anything about your childhood, nor do I know anything about your future. Whereas most books are locked, I occasionally receive some that are unlocked and are still blank in the back, meaning their life has a dividing point."
"As in their life can go either way and they can't make up their mind. It's my job to chose what I feel is the better choice for them."
Naruto scowled, "It sounds like you get to play god."
"Against my better judgment, yes." Itachi answered, "I rarely come across these books though. Most arrive already filled out and locked; I simply store them and when the books comes to an end, I pass it off. A reaper from the council will appear to retrieve the book, unlock it and determine their next fate."
"So, these books are people's lives." Naruto stated, "I always thought they were hourglasses or something."
A smirk appeared on Itachi's face, "Some people have hourglass others have books. If you burn my book, I'll cease to exist and die. Tear out a page and I'll lose a memory from years past."
"If I don't?"
"Then I stay here, watching after the books that are assigned to me, while I watch as history passes by me and I move from place to place"
Naruto was silent as he looked around the large room before his gaze settled back on Itachi, "You're immortal."
Itachi's head dipped slightly, "I am."
"Fine, I'll accept that for now."
"I told you that I received some books that were blank and unlocked; yours was one of them. When I looked at yours, there were two choice's presented to me and I had to make a choice." Itachi's eyes darted away from Naruto's and settled on the black book. He had never wanted Naruto to know about the other choice he had in his life and that he had been responsible for his suffering. "At the time I received the book, I hadn't met you yet; I try not to find the people I watch over."
"Five years ago, I moved to this town and I ran into you. Imagine my surprise and fear at meeting someone whose fate was in my hands. I tried to keep from getting close to you, but in this small town it's a little hard and I can only move every ten years or so. Either way, the day of your crossroads was quickly approaching and I had a choice to make, but yours was slightly problematic."
Naruto cocked his head, "Why?"
"Because in order to choose the best option for your future, I had to do another thing first. I had to fix another book in order to secure your future; but it caused you great pain. I apologize for it now, but it seemed best at the time."
"Itachi, what did you do?"
Black eyes lifted slowly from the thick rug and held Naruto's gaze, "I made Temari break up with you."
Naruto jumped out of the chair, "What? You did what?"
"I had no other choice." Itachi cried
"You, you fucking used me. Did you just wait for this time and know that I would come crawling to you eventually? I trusted you!" He paused to suck in a deep breath and his eyes widened in realization, "That was why you were on the bridge; you knew I was going to be there after her death. Bastard, did you set this whole thing up?"
"Naruto, you need,"
"You probably killed her too. Or did you just not bother to save her, knowing how last night would turn out. I bet you just sit at your desk and write out our lives in order to entertain yourself during your eternal life. Did you have fun fucking with my life Itachi?"
His back collided with the chair and his breath escaped him in a quick gasp. He looked up to see Itachi's dark eyes glaring into his but he held his ground.
"I didn't know last night would turn out that way." He growled.
"Then why did you make her break up with me, why didn't you just let me stay with her?" Naruto snapped.
"Because you were supposed to be in that accident with her. You were supposed to die yesterday."
Naruto's body stilled at Itachi's outburst and he felt the raven's fingers relax their grip on his arms. He blinked and his eyes searched the Uchiha's face, "What?"
"You were supposed to be in the car with Temari. She was going to a party at her work and would have brought you if you were still together." Itachi cupped his face gently, "I can't change someone's future once it has been set, and my meddling did nothing to stop her death. It was either her, or both of you. I'm sorry Naruto; I didn't want you to know all this so soon."
"So soon?" He echoed.
Itachi sighed, "I had planned on telling you, but not for a while. Even now, your book is still unwritten and your author seems to be at a writers block."
Blue eyes blinked at him and Itachi could see the confusion etched into them. He shifted uncomfortably and dropped his hands from Naruto's cheeks, there were other things that needed to be taken care of but he needed to let the blond know what the future held for them. By coming down here, he had unintentionally intertwined his future with Itachi's and there were very few options left for him now.
"Being immortal, we only get one chance to tell someone about our other life. Most of us spend centuries looking for that one person and the decision needs to be made before the mortal grows too old." He dropped down in front of the blond, "Naruto, I have always been attracted to you and I had planned on taking my time with you. I didn't want to push you after Temari's death and I wanted to wait until you had healed more, but I'm afraid I don't have that luxury anymore."
"What are talking about?"
"The council will be here to talk to you soon; a day or two if we're lucky. This means, I only have now to ask this of you, any other time will be too late. Naruto, I offer you the choice to stay with me for the rest of eternity. You'll be immortal like me and you can travel around the world a hundred times over, but you'll never have to burden yourself with my job. The only complication is that you'll have to remain with me, forever."
Naruto was silent for a moment before speaking, "But that means that I would have to watch everyone die around me; I can never find someone to love."
He missed the pain that appeared in Itachi's eyes briefly, before it was masked once again and Itachi spoke, "The choice is yours alone to make; I can't make it for you and you have to want it."
"I…can I have the day to think about it?" Naruto asked, "I'm sorry Itachi, but it's a lot to take in at once."
The raven nodded, "Of course, and if you have any questions, I'll be here still."
Naruto stood up from the chair and stiffly walked to the thick wooden door. He paused as his hand grasped the door handle and he looked over his shoulder, "Is it worth it? Giving up your mortality and doing nothing as the world passes you by?"
A small smile flickered across Itachi's face, "Come back tonight at eleven and I'll show what we do to help pass the time. And yes, it is worth it, once you find the person to spend immortality with."
A blush spread across Naruto's face and he vanished behind the door, leaving Itachi alone in the warm room.
The rain had slowed down outside as he made his way down the road, not even noticing the water that was slowly seeping through his clothing.
It was too much to comprehend in one sitting, let alone one day. Sure, he had known Itachi for at least five years and perhaps he had glanced at the other man occasionally, but it wasn't enough to just abandon his life for the other male. The thought of immortality scared him for several reasons, the first being it wasn't supposed to exist. He had always thought that it was something in books, something that people wished for. The other being that he would have to sit and watch everyone grow old around him, watch them marry, have children, and die. All while he stayed the same. And Itachi said he moved a lot. If he only stayed in one place for ten years, he'd always be leaving behind new friends.
But he could have the chance to make more new ones. If he agreed to this offer, the only constant his future would hold would be Itachi. Not that it was a bad thing, he enjoyed Itachi's person and everything the man had to offer, but was it enough?
He shuddered lightly. Despite the absurdity of it all, Naruto hadn't been able to detect any lie in the raven's voice. A curse escaped his lips and he kicked at a loose stone; why did all of this have to happen? Knowing that Itachi wanted him to be happy above everything else was a warm thought and it made him blush at the idea, but one day wasn't enough. Although he wasn't sure why he was even thinking about all this; he should just turn Itachi down.
Nothing the man could show him tonight would change his mind. He felt betrayed, as if the pain from yesterday would have been non-existent if Itachi had just stopped him from dating Temari in the first place. If he knew she was going to die, why didn't he ask him out first, or better yet, why didn't he tell him not to ask Temari out? It would have saved them both a lot of pain in the long run and then this wouldn't have happened.
If the raw pain from Temari's death wasn't there, he would have given Itachi a chance, different circumstances aside. But he felt that it was still too soon and knowing that he was supposed to have died with her, only made it worse.
Still, the blond could only imagine the pain that Itachi was going through. He racked his brain for memories from the previous night and remembered how he begged Itachi to make him forget. Guilt stabbed at him. The raven had probably been hurting during that time as well and he probably made it worse by further taunting him. Itachi had known what had happened and he couldn't have done a thing about it. He flinched at the thought.
How many times had Itachi suffered with the knowledge that he held peoples life in his hands? Knowing certain paths that people would take and the pain that it could cause them; all the while, handling it alone.
Naruto's eyes glanced down at the river and he realized that he was back at the marble bridge. Below him the waters churned angrily and he rested his arms and chin on the railing.
It wasn't right to be angry with Itachi. He was suffering just as much as he was, if not more. No doubt his angry outburst back at the store hadn't made things any better for him either. Yet through it all, Itachi was still willing to forgive him and share with him the hidden part of his life. He knew that no one else had gotten the chance and if he agreed to it, no one else ever would.
The thought made him tingle slightly and he slowly closed his eyes while releasing a small sigh. He would give Itachi a chance; he just wished he had more time.
When eleven o' clock rolled around, Naruto found himself standing in front of The Raven. He was no closer to a decision than he had been when he left and he was running out of time. The door was unlocked and all the lights were dimmed when he walked into the store, but Itachi was nowhere to be found.
"Itachi?" He called out, and his voice echoed throughout the building.
Naruto spun around and huffed at the raven that sat on a small perch. The bird cocked his head at Naruto and jumped from his peg. Naruto grinned a little, "You scared me there for a second. I almost thought you had said something. Where's Itachi? He told me to meet him here."
The bird fluffed its feathers and opened its beak, "Nevermore."
"Holy shit!" Naruto jumped away from the bird. "Did you just talk?"
A tiny head turned to the side and let out another shrill cry, "Nevermore."
"Nevermore, be silent."
Naruto's head turned in the direction of the second voice and he breathed a sigh of relief as Itachi glided into the room. He pointed at the bird, "Your bird just talked, and he's not a parrot."
An amused smirk crossed Itachi's face, "No, he is a raven. In fact he is the raven, Nevermore; from Poe's poem."
"I'm sorry; you want to run that by me one more time?"
Itachi's hand circled around Naruto's wrist, "How about I show you."
Naruto's eyebrows furrowed, "I have a question for you first. If you knew that Temari was going to be killed, why didn't you stop me from dating her?"
The raven turned around and Naruto could see the deep pain etched in his eyes, "Believe me, I lost plenty of sleep over it, but in the end it wasn't my choice to make. It was already written that you would ask her, I couldn't have stopped you. I can't interfere with what has been written, nor can I write alternatives. I'm sorry."
He was silent and after a moment, Itachi spoke again.
"I know you said you don't like to read, but of the books that you have read, which was your favorite?"
"It's not that I don't like to read, it's just that all books end the same. But I like action books, ones that have a good fight scene."
"Fiction I presume." Itachi stated and Naruto nodded, "Very well, I think I know what will work."
He led them to the fiction section and selected a thick, white paperback, where the words, 'The Way of Shadows' gleamed in the soft light. Itachi set the book in Naruto's hands and watched as the blond skimmed the back of the book.
Itachi nodded as he walked to the door that led to the basement and Naruto followed him. The small room was empty, with all the books stored on the shelves and the only thing on the desk was a small candle. Itachi turned to look at the blond and Naruto could see mischief dancing in them.
"If students knew about this, they would never read their school books anymore." He set the book on the table and a smile crossed his face, "I'll make sure we drop in on a fight scene; you'll like them in here."
"You lost me again."
Itachi reached out and pulled the blond closer, "I know it's a lot to ask now, but I want you to trust me."
Blue eyes analyzed him and after a moments hesitation he spoke, "This will help me understand?" Itachi nodded, "Fine, I'll trust you, but if I have questions, I want answers."
Naruto yelped as Itachi wound his arm around his waist and further pulled him closer to his body. He didn't move though and watched as Itachi placed the tips of his fingers on the cover of the book and pressed down on the surface. He was about to question what was going to happen, but he felt a slight tug on his body and the room started to spin into a blur of colors before black overtook his senses.
Smoke tickled his nose and he realized that it was hard to breath due to a tight pressure around his waist. He opened his eyes and nearly yelled when he realized he was in a tree, looking down on a smoke filled battle. His eyes widened as below him, armor clad soldiers rushed through the forest and the sounds of swords clashing and horses nickering were loud in his ears. One of the archers let loose a hailstorm of arrows and he jumped when one was deflected and flew by his face.
This was suicide; he needed to get out of this tree. No, he needed to wake up, that's what he needed to do.
He tried to move, but found that he was immobilized and he squirmed in an attempt to free himself.
"If you keep struggling, you're going to fall out of the tree." A low voice said in his ear.
Naruto quickly turned his head and his mouth fell slack as he realized Itachi was sitting behind him, still holding him in place with a tight arm. He was dressed in a rough, gray material that seemed to fit on his body and from his back, Naruto could faintly see the silhouette of a katana handle.
"What are you wearing?"
Itachi brushed the hood off his head and he smirked, "You're one to talk."
Naruto glanced down and realized that the same material covered his body and at his right hip were several small weapons. When he shifted his body, he could faintly hear the jingling of metal, indicating that he had several more weapons on his person.
"Itachi, what's going on?"
"We're inside the book." Itachi answered.
"No really." Naruto stated, "That, that's not possible."
"You believed my immortality speech, but you don't think that this is possible? Humans have become blind over the millennium and very lax when thinking about the impossible. It has dulled their beliefs on what can exist. I assure you, this is very much so real."
Naruto grunted, "So unicorns and fairies, those all exist too?"
"Maybe not in this world, but that's another story." Itachi's chin settled on Naruto's shoulder as he glanced down on the scene below them, "Would you like to join the fight?"
"We're not merely watchers in all this. Right now, we are unknown and just watching, but at a single command, I can make us visible to everyone in this book, and we can fight along side them."
"And die." Naruto said as he watched someone drive a sword through a tall male. "I don't think so."
Itachi smirked, "The rules are different for us. We may fight and interact with everyone but we cannot die. You can be injured in the book and even killed in the book, but death in here, only makes you reappear in the room again. You'll reappear uninjured and nothing will change on you."
"How about we go to a story I know." He winced as another soldier dropped to the ground, "One that's not so, uh, violent."
Itachi's head dipped, "If you wish."
There was another sharp jerk on his body and the fight below him disappeared into a haze of colors.
When his feet landed on the carpeted surface, he stumbled forward. His body would have hit the floor but Itachi was quick to grab him and pull him back against his chest. He had to close his eyes to stop the room from spinning and he felt Itachi's hand gliding up his throat to tip his head backward.
"Take in a deep breath and let it out slowly."
Naruto did as instructed and after the second breath, he felt the vertigo vanish and he slumped against Itachi's body, "That's rough traveling."
Itachi's chuckle vibrated through his chest, sending chills up Naruto's spin and he broke free of the grasp. He turned to look at the raven and ran a hand through his hair, "So let me get this straight, you can jump into books and either watch or interact with them."
"Correct. Often times you can talk with the character outside of the story line and further delve into their personality." Itachi answered, "When you woke up yesterday, you saw me leaving the story. We don't forget what happened in the book, and sometimes things can stay with; mentally and physically, like the leaf from the previous day and Nevermore."
"Did he follow you out or something?" Naruto asked.
A smirk appeared on Itachi's face, "No. I smuggled him out. It gets lonely sometimes and he's good company."
Naruto winced. The companionship of a lone raven bird was hardly good company. Even jumping into the numerous books that he owned to talk with characters wasn't the same as human companionship. The thought made him want to tell Itachi that everything would turn out alright, but he didn't know that. Instead he opted to stay silent and wait for the Uchiha to speak again.
"So which would you like to try next? 'Harry Potter' or perhaps 'Eragon', those seem to be ones you would read."
Naruto shook his head, "No, I never read them; too long." He looked down at the floor and a small flush crept up on his face, "Can you, um, go into manga's?"
A soft sigh escaped Itachi's mouth but the small smile on his face gave away his amusement, "Yes. Which one?"
"Very well; it's been a while since I last talked to L."
"You've been in Death Note before?" Naruto asked, "You don't seem like a manga reader."
Itachi shrugged, "I find his intellect enjoyable at times."
He sent Naruto upstairs to retrieve the book and settled into a chair while he waited. Nevermore glided over to him and rested gently on his knee, a small piece of paper in his beak. His heart sank when he realized it was from the council and he carefully took the paper from the birds' beak. His eyes skimmed the paper and a frown crossed his face.
The council was coming in the morning and they were only going to give Naruto two choices. And neither of them promised a happy ending.
He stuffed the paper in his pocket as he heard Naruto approaching the basement room and pushed the thoughts aside for the moment. If he wasn't careful, Naruto would realize something was wrong and Itachi didn't want to explain what the note said quite yet. He watched as the blond rushed in with an excited grin on his face and he let a small smile cross his face, although he knew it was fake.
Luckily Naruto was too excited to notice and he stood up from the chair so he could stand next to the blond. He gently took the book from Naruto's hands, trying not to let his fingers linger too long and set the book on the table. He wrapped his arm around Naruto's waist and brought him closer to his body while he placed his hand on the black cover. His eyes closed for a brief moment before he pushed down on the book and the room vanished.
When Naruto felt his feet touch the ground, he blinked his eyes open and squinted at the bright room they had landed in. He felt Itachi loosen his grip and the raven settled on the ground behind the hunched over figure.
"What do you wish to do Naruto?" Itachi asked carefully.
"Can you mess with the plot line?" Itachi nodded, "So, if I tried to use Light's notebook to kill L, what would happen?"
Itachi raised an eyebrow, "You could throw the whole story into chaos but it would eventually turn out with the same ending. The character's here are able to move about freely from what we read in the outside world. They have their own life outside of what we read. And why would you want to kill him?"
"I don't, I was just curious. I like L, besides; I want to try some of the sweets he's always eating." Naruto stated.
"Itachi, I know you're there, you can unmask your presence."
A smirk flickered across Itachi's face and he dropped the covering on them, "Nice to see that you haven't changed L."
The figure shuffled around, "The room always becomes colder when you arrive." His eyes darted to Naruto, "I see you brought company this time. This only proves my theory on the death gods; if people like you exist, then they should as well."
Naruto glanced at Itachi, "You helped him figure out things about the case?"
"It wasn't my intent, but yes."
"I thought that the authors made him this way."
Itachi crossed his legs, "How do the writers get the idea?"
"Go eat your sweets." He stated as a board game was placed in front of him.
"Sweet!" Naruto cried out and darted off to the side of the room.
Itachi's eyes watched him before moving back to the board and he didn't look up, despite the questioning look that he knew was being directed his way, "Don't ask, just make your move."
Two hours later, Itachi walked behind Naruto as the blond bounded along the walkway. Sugar, it seemed, was a bad mixture with Naruto's already upbeat personality and now he had energy to spare as he sprinted the rest of the way to a small park. The sun was setting behind Itachi, casting long shadows from his body and reminding Itachi that his time was slowly drawing to a close.
He settled down on a bench and watched as Naruto ran around like he was younger. A small smile flickered on his face, but it slowly faded as he leaned back against the bench and shoved his hands into his pockets. He knew that this alone couldn't convince Naruto to stay with him and his hand curled around the crumbled piece of paper in his jacket. It had been a miracle in itself that Naruto hadn't stormed off after his explanation.
After last night, he knew that any hope of convincing the blond to stay with him had vanished. He had been the cause of Naruto's pain and he couldn't even explain it to him, due to the laws set down by the council. Once Naruto had fallen asleep that night, he dropped into a bloody fight scene from one of his favorite books. He merely watched as the characters hacked away at each other and was tempted to join them, but his heart wasn't in it.
It had been hard enough to watch Naruto's happy expressions when he was with Temari, but he couldn't say or do anything. Instead, he could only wait for the dreaded day and hope for the best. Last night was not what he wanted. While the pleasure was unimaginable, the pain and hurt that had settled in him overrode the ending pleasure. He had wanted Naruto to come to him of his own will and under much better terms.
While the blond had accepted him when he came back, he knew that the truth would push him away. And even if he hadn't, one day wasn't enough to decide for an eternity. There was nothing he would have changed though, and he would have still picked the same path for the blond.
Knowing that he would still live, even if he didn't remember him was enough. He would be able to move on and accept the facts, as he done in the past, but it would never stop the hurt.
Itachi jumped when Naruto plopped down next to him. The blonds' cheeks were flushed and red from running around for so long and he panted lightly for breath. "You should come play with me, its fun. I haven't played on a playground in ages."
The raven chuckled lightly and wrapped his arm around Naruto's shoulder, drawing the younger male closer to his body and he gently placed a kiss on his head. He was glad that the blond didn't flinch or jump away. "Just relax and watch the sunset. The sugar high should be leaving you soon."
Naruto slumped against his body and rested his head on the offered shoulder. The warmth from the other male made his head heavy and his eyelids started to drop. He felt Itachi thread his fingers through his own and he squeezed them gently in return. Above him, Itachi sighed softly and Naruto raised his head from the shoulder. "What's wrong?"
He shook his head, "Nothing. We need to be heading back."
Clear blue eyes searched Itachi's face for some sort of hint, but his face didn't reveal anything. It wasn't until the Uchiha wrapped his arm his waist that he realized his time was up, he would have to make a decision when they returned home. He could feel Itachi's tense body through the material of their clothing and he knew that the raven knew this too.
The feelings were there, buried under a few layers of hurt and confusion; but it would take more than a day for them to grow and take root. But he didn't want Itachi to leave him or whatever punishment this council had in store for him. He wanted to stay with the raven and make sure that he wasn't dependent on a bird for company; to tell him that it would be all right. To show him that the choices he made were a mistake.
"Itachi!" He cried out and turned around in the raven's grip.
He noticed that Itachi was looking down at him with a concerned look in his eyes but he didn't think about anything as he threw his arms around the pale shoulders. His lips found Itachi's and he pressed against them vehemently. Itachi's arms hesitated before they wrapped around his body, pulling it closer and he shuddered in pleasure as the raven responded to his actions. He flinched in surprise though as something wet pressed against his cheek.
And for the first time since he was a child, he couldn't stop the hot liquid that squeezed out of his eyes. They traveled down his cheeks and mixed in with Itachi's before forming a single drop and falling to the ground.
'It isn't fair.'
Somewhere in the middle of the kiss, Itachi had brought them back home and while he waited for the room to calm down, Itachi had brushed the tear tracks away. By the time he opened his eyes again, Itachi looked calm and composed once again, as if nothing had happened.
"The council will be here soon." Itachi said quietly while Naruto sat in the chair.
"What will happen?"
Itachi leaned against the piece of furniture, "Our jobs are secret for an obvious reason, and since you stumbled in here, you've accidently found what is supposed to stay hidden. Because of this, the council gave you two choices. Either they can erase your memories about me, everything you saw here and they will move you to a different location; or they can kill you. This knowledge for mortals is almost always punishable by death."
Naruto shook his head, "I don't want either of those Itachi."
Itachi reached out and pulled the blond closer, "I know, I don't want either of those options myself. If you choose the first one, I will never be able to see again in case my person raises hidden memories."
"I just want more time."
"This isn't about you."
They turned and Itachi released his grip and bowed stiffly. "Councilmen."
The hooded men nodded to him before speaking again, "You've messed up Uchiha Itachi. Not only did the mortal see you emerge from the book, you made him think it was a dream. The first alone is a harsh enough offense, but eradicating memories is punishable by dismal or demotion. We won't dismiss you, but we should demote you to a lower level guardian and erase the mortals' memory."
"No, you can't do that!" Naruto cried and would have moved if Itachi hadn't held him back. "I only saw him because he was…helping me after I was hurt. He saved my life and is a good friend, you can't punish him for that."
The hoods turned to him, "So you accept the terms of staying with Itachi for eternity then."
Naruto faltered, "I, I just want more time."
"Typical mortal. Only thinking of themselves and acting on greedy impulses. They always ask for more; more time, more money, more knowledge; they are never satisfied with what is given to them."
A chuckle sounded from the back of the group and a taller council member stepped forward. "Itachi had selfish reasons of his own though, he acted against the council in hopes that he could spare the mortal this fate and try again in the future. He also chose the path of life for the mortal, another greedy impulse. He should be punished as well." He turned to the raven, "Let me see the mortal's book."
Itachi nodded and released his grip on Naruto. Once he vanished to the corner, the taller member walked closer to Naruto and grabbed his chin, forcing him to look deep into the darkened hood. Naruto squirmed under the glare and he wanted to open his mouth to call for Itachi, but the grip prevented him from doing so.
"Why do you wish for more time mortal?"
"Because it's not fair to Itachi. He saved me from death and I know that with time I could-"
The grip tightened, "And if you couldn't? You would only get Itachi's hopes up, only to trample them in the ground at the end. That wouldn't be fair to Itachi now, would it? You can't force the heart to fall in love, even with time. I'd hate to see him hurting for the rest of his immortal life. If I have my way way, I can erase both your memories of each other and no one would be hurt."
Naruto's eyes widened, "No! Please don't do that. I don't want to forget Itachi and I don't want him to leave." Tears threatened to spill from his eyes and they made the room swim in front of him.
The member seemed to get his answer and released his grip. He turned to Itachi as he returned with Naruto's book and he took it from the raven's hands. Pale hands flipped through the pages of the book while eyes quickly skimmed the words that spread across the paper. When he reached the blank section, he snapped the book shut and set it down on the table.
"I'll grant you an extra month. Prove to me that you deserve this mortal."
He waved the other members away and they filed after him as he vanished from the room, leaving the two males alone in silence.
Three years later
Naruto scanned the room with a critical eye before he set the heavy box down on the floor. It hadn't been his intent to move, but somehow he had wound up in the beautiful city of Barcelona in Spain. His new house was on the outskirts of the city but was only five minutes from the school he was going to start teaching at.
Most of the boxes had been unpacked already, thanks to his redheaded lover and he smiled at the picture that already hung on the wall. Too bad he hadn't been in the best of moods when the picture was taken, otherwise he might have looked even better with his small smirks.
He knelt down and began unpacking the books that were in the box. Naruto didn't know when he had suddenly started to pick up reading, considering he barely read with Temari and she loved to read. His hands brought an old book out of the box and he leaned in closer to examine it.
When was this put in here?
Naruto faintly remembered someone telling him to keep the book so he would never forget those who had moved on. He didn't remember packing it though and guessed that the redhead had placed it in the box last minute. The blond stood up and placed the paperback on the shelf with the rest of the books before moving back to the box once again.
Downstairs, he heard a muffled cry before the sound of boxes tumbling to the ground echoed up the steps. Perhaps he should go help the redhead, in case he started to destroy things. He shook his head, no, there was no way he would stoop that low and execute revenge on boxes.
Heavy steps sounded the arrival of his newly found redheaded lover and he snorted with laughter when he saw him.
"Come on Itachi, the hairs not that bad."
Itachi grunted, "Next time I see the council, I'm killing them."
"I'll be sure to remind them that their punishment was effective. But you know, with some black tipping and Goth makeup, you could look like a rock star!"
"I'm kidding." He leaned forward to place a kiss on Itachi's temple, "Where the boxes causing you trouble downstairs?"
"No, it was getting the thing into it." Itachi stated and pulled Naruto back against his body before bringing a box around. "Think of it as a house warming gift."
Naruto lifted the lid off the box and jumped when a red blur launched itself at him. It landed on his shoulder and began nuzzling his ear, making Naruto yell at the wet feeling. He pulled the red thing from his shoulder and stared into deep black eyes that emerged from the red fur. The tiny fox yelped at him and squirmed in his arms as he tried to get closer to the blond.
"Itachi…why does he have nine tails?" He asked and tipped his head backwards so he could see Itachi's face.
"His name is Kyuubi. I had to sneak him out of a book, but he came willingly, just like Nevermore."
The raven flew overhead and let out an caw at the fox. Tiny ears perked up at the bird and he leapt out of Naruto's arms.
Itachi and Naruto watched as the young fox tried to jump and bat at the bird circling lazily overhead. Each time, he failed considerably and Itachi wrapped his arms around Naruto's waist before resting his chin on the blond head.
"Maybe I should take him back now, before he gets any bigger and makes my life hell."
"No!" Naruto cried, "I like him."
"I thought so." Itachi said with a sigh.
The blond grinned and turned around, draping his arms over Itachi's shoulders, "You were right, it was worth it." He brought Itachi's head down and before their lips met, whispered, "I love you."
Itachi hummed his approval and he threaded his fingers through the blond hair while his other arm brought the lithe body closer to his own. His eyes flickered to the picture that was hanging on the wall of the morning after he awoke to his new hair color. The head council member had been kind enough to take a picture for him and Naruto had decided that he liked it. He would have to burn it later. His eyelids lowered and he submitted to the kiss.
A gentle breeze blew through the open window, making the pages of an open book turn. The fox paused in his activities to look at it before continuing again without a care in the world. A black cover with golden words was visible only through the underside of the glass table, but the two immortals knew what the title spelled out.
'Uchiha Itachi and Uzumaki Naruto'
And even though the half the book was blank, the very last page was filled out in black calligraphy;
'And in the end, they were happy because they had had each other.'
'The Way of Shadows' is written by Brent Weeks and is the first book in the Night Angel trilogy. If you like assassins, magic, twisted romance, fighting, and have time for a long read, I would highly recommend it. Alright; I'm done preaching XD
Bah, corny ending; and the stupid council people weren't even supposed to be in here. They just randomly attacked me and demanded to be written, consequently, making this one shot much longer than it was supposed to be.