Pygmalion and Galatea
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto or any of its characters. I also do not own the story of Pygmalion and Galatea (the Greek mythology).
He grabbed a cup of hot coffee from the counter after just coming from his room. The black-haired man downed almost half of the drink in just one gulp before proceeding to sit down on the table. He turned his eyes to the wall clock in the kitchen and almost groaned out when it read 3:00 in the morning.
Itachi let his long slender artist's hands tread through his long hair while his other hand massaged his pounding temple. The headache was a killer and he swore he could live without it. Despite all his grumblings, he never regretted how he spent his time even if this insufferable headache was one of the effects.
He had finally completed his sculpture of an androgynous male, almost looking like a female when he last saw it. The minutest of detailed were etched onto his face and body, each curve was definable. He placed rich cloths to cover the body, since he didn't sculpt some on. He only carved how his sculpture's body would look like, naked.
As embarrassing as it was for a stoic man like him, he actually had an erection after doing the last examination of his work. The sight of the slender body he made with his tools and marble was so lifelike, it almost seemed real. Itachi almost mistook the statue for a living human.
He stood up from the table, bringing his cup of coffee with him to his studio as he made his way up the stairs. Everyone in the Uchiha family was already asleep in their beds many hours before this and he was glad for the silence. He went inside his room and didn't even open the lights despite the darkness of the early morning. The moonlight that streamed in from the window was enough to illuminate everything in the room.
The man placed the half-empty cup on the table farthest to his artworks and headed over to the alabaster white stone standing beside the window. There, still in the pale light, the blue kimono he placed on it contrasting with the marble, was his creation.
… his beloved.
Snapping as if out of a trance, he looked at the statue with an expression as if it knew something he didn't. Skeptically, yes but not with disdain. Itachi continued studying it before giving himself back into his old routine and started running his arms down the sides of his work.
His pale hands ghosted over the carved slim arms and shoulders before clasping around the slender neck and then tracing the defined collarbone. The kimono he placed over it was short and sleeveless to show that his work was a young teenager about to become a young adult; the supposed 'blooming' of an adolescent.
The Uchiha leant his head against the hard stone chest, wishing the cold that he felt from it was instead the warmth of a living being before wrapping his arms around it, embracing it. He stayed like that for a few moments, trapped in his own world and started rubbing his hands up and down the shoulders once again, trying to chase the cold from it.
He reared his head and looked at the eyes he carved on the statue which was partially covered by stone hair. He imagined the eyes to be the color of the clear blue sea and the hair to be remembered like the bright yellow sun. The skin to be a smooth and warm and healthy golden tan, sometimes glittering into a bronze in the light.
He brought one hand up and traced the lips on the face, imagining it to be soft and plump and sweet when kissed. He brought his lips to it and brushed against it slightly, thinking that the lips responded back to him. Itachi touched the head of hair and imagined his hands to be treading against it, through the silk-spun hair. He tightened the embrace he still had on the statue and deepened the kiss he had against it, not wishing for the moment to end.
He could not take the unbearable longing anymore. Each day and night he would do this routine, wishing that his creation would somehow respond to his advances, his touches, and his kisses. He had fallen into an unrequited love towards a non-living object. The hopelessness he felt had drowned him into an endless pit of despair and he thinks that he will never climb out of it.
… and he did not wish to.
Itachi continued touching the statue with much love until the moon had set and the sun took its place in the horizon. He stayed like that hours after the sun had risen and ignored the sounds that came from the kitchen downstairs and immersed himself in the world of his art.
Itachi was still in his art studio when Mikoto called him down for breakfast. A tension was lingering in the air when the eldest son of the Uchiha family joined them as the youngest glared heatedly at his older sibling. Fugaku, the patriarch of the family coughed slightly to call his son's attention and to also divert his younger son's glare.
"Itachi," he called.
"Yes, father?" the long-haired 26 year old said back.
"From what I heard from Sasuke, you seem to be working on a new art project. It was a sculpture, he said."
Mikoto heard her husband's statement and joined in with glee, "Oh that must be so wonderful Itachi. You have to show it to me sometime."
Looking at his mother from across the table, Itachi could only reply against her enthusiasm, "Of course mother."
"How hypocritical. You show it to mom but you don't show it to me…" Sasuke said under his breath but the other Uchihas ignored him as Itachi continued.
"But I'm afraid that I cannot show it to you just yet. It is still not finished…" he said even if his sculpture was already done. He just thought of spending some more time alone with his work before he showed it to other people.
"Of course, of course. Just show it whenever you feel like it okay, Itachi? Or whenever you are available."
"Thank you for understanding mother."
Mikoto only smiled back at Itachi while Fugaku gave a stiff nod in affirmation. Sasuke seethed at his seat while looking at his family. It was so not fair.
The family ate their breakfast in silence and the eldest son was the first to finish his meal. He stood up from his seat and excused himself from the table before placing his dishes on the sink, cleaning it before heading upstairs. But before he left the dining room, he said to his parents,
"Mother, Father, I will need to go out later to buy things for my work so I will not be back until late in the evening."
"Why Itachi? We have a full stock of art materials in the stock room. Is there something missing in there?" Mikoto asked her son.
"No mother, it's just that what I am looking for is not there. What I need can only be imported from Iwa so I am heading to the importers in Kiri. I hope it will not be a bother…" he explained.
"What you're looking for must be rare, yes?" Fugaku asked.
"Then why don't you just settle for the ones we have? I'm sure that the quality of the stuff in the stock room is enough, right? I bet you're just being picky as usual," this time it was Sasuke who spoke up and he ignored the looks he got from his family members.
Itachi who was used to his actions, just replied with a nonchalant voice, "Don't you have better things to do Sasuke other than bothering me?"
Silence greeted the long-haired man while Fugaku and Mikoto continued to eat. They were both used to the tension between their two sons and treated the situation with unusual familiarity. Sasuke, on the other hand was again, fuming on the spot.
Seeing that his little brother was speechless, Itachi resisted the urge to give a smug smirk and said simly, "I thought so," he turned to leave and went up to his room, probably freshening up before going out, leaving the Uchihas with relative silence once again.
It had just taken a few bus rides before he arrived at the town he said he would go to. Kiri was a ways away from Konoha and would take 4 hours to reach it if you didn't count the traffic. Bus rides were much quicker to ride than private utility cars and they often rode through the roads with not much cars.
Kiri was a small village known for its great beaches and excellent fish exporting. Since the place was near the ocean, they were a great import and export point for all types of deliveries on water. If you wanted the latest products of anything about everything, then Kiri is the place for you.
The bus Itachi was on just passed the large bridge of Nami that was named the 'The Great Naruto Bridge'. The architecture of the bridge was amazing and the length and size of it was incredible but it made Itachi wonder why they would name an architectural wonder after an ingredient of noodles.
The vehicle stopped at a bus station and he got off despite it still being a few miles away from Kiri. Itachi had to visit a few friends of his and he hoped that they had a few good deals this time. He headed for the market place and weaved through the throng of people before arriving at a misleading shop. Itachi entered it just as the dark looming clouds formed and the rain started to fall.
On the outside, the shop looked like a fortunetellers place what with the dark tinted windows and the name of the shop painted on the glass with a luminous saying, "Akatsuki". It made anyone who passed by think that the people who went in and worked here were some kind of occultists or something. But in reality, it was one of the best art agencies Itachi had ever come across with, much better than the one he previously had contracted with, an agency in Konoha named "The Ninja".
The bell on the door jingled and the person behind the counter turned around and greeted, "Welcome to- Itachi! What are you doing here, man?" the man who spoke was sort of bluish and he had tattoos on the side of his face that made him look like he had gills.
"Kisame," Itachi greeted simply. "Anything new?"
"Ah… I really don't know. Why don't you ask Pein-sama if you want more details?"
"Hn. Do you know where he is?"
Pointing at the back of the store with his thumb, "He's at the back. Only Konan, Zetsu and Tobi are the ones with us here. The others are at it with their own shenanigans."
"I see." Itachi immediately headed to the back after giving his friend one last nod before disappearing behind the door. The back room was definitely larger than the front since this was where the real office of Akatsuki was. The front was sort of like a reception area so that it wouldn't be so crowded at the back.
In the middle of the room was a man who had vibrant orange hair that had too many piercing on his face for it to be healthy. He sat behind a large mahogany table that was placed there for business and near him, a woman with bright blue hair sat by his side, a paper flower pinning her hair up. Then farther from them, sitting on a couch was a man who wore a swirling orange mask and beside him was another man who had a head piece on that looked like a plant.
"Ah, Itachi. It's a surprise to see you here. It's been quite a while hasn't it? Do you need something?" Pein, the orange haired piercing freak asked.
"I was just wondering if you're holding an art show anytime soon. I just finished my new batch of works and was hoping that it could be displayed. Of course, under my same codename…"
Everyone in the room raised their eyebrows in curiousity. "What's gotten you so excited? You never usually want to show your works," Zetsu asked the Uchiha.
Not answering for a while, it was a moment before he replied, "I just wanted to show it now. I just think that they're feeling... lonely… without being seen by others, just collecting dust in my room…"
It was rare for the Uchiha to sound so uncertain of something that they were so suspicious on what these artworks were. That is until Konan remembered something Itachi said once before.
"Is this about that dream you had? You know, about that blonde?" she asked him.
She thought that he wasn't going to answer her question because they all knew from the day he said anything about the dream that it was a sensitive subject for him. So imagine her surprise when he said, "Yes, it is."
"The next gallery of work I made has him in all of it," he continued. "I made paintings of him, many of them and I still can't get him out of my head. No matter how much more I work about him, I can't stop."
Then he finally surprised all of them by having a smile on his face as he said, "And I also made a sculpture of him…"
"A sculpture? I remember you being in the painting business and statues are a bit of Deidara's sort of thing, right?" Konan asked, a pretty curious expression on her face.
Scowling, Itachi replied to her, "Deidara's not the only one who can do that and yes, my work is more human-looking than Sasori's puppets. Surprised?"
Everyone in the room just nodded dumbly, "Yeah…"
A/N: this chapter didn't end pretty well, didn't it? Well, yeah. So after waiting for ah… 5 months? You get this! Don't worry, the next chapter will bring Itachi closer to his muse and Naruto-chan! (That's just one person though::squeal::XD)
Wait for it minna! (Ya know, I'm not really a Japanese girl and I started wondering out of the blue why I'm saying: 'Wait for it minna!' when in reality, I am just a proud Filipino citizen… well, can't use Tagalog here since no one will understand me. Pity, pity.)
Please Review. (And sorry lots for the blabber.)