Gods help us all this was supposed to be pure unadulterated fluff in the vein of lexjamandme with a happy ending and everything yet instead it turned out to be what lurks below. It was inspired by the David Cook song Permanent. I give you people fair WARNING: This is angsty, it made The Simi cry.
It's the canon timeline starting at just before Naruto, Sakura, Sai, and Yamato go a Sasuke hunting. That means Naruto is 16.
Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto nor any characters or locations thereof nor do I have any claim on the song that inspired this. I make no money from writing this.
Itachi turned at the sound of the cry, the running footsteps, and the harsh panting. Crimson red met oceanic blue as he gazed into Naruto's distressed eyes. The blond trembled in the chill of the night air and pleaded, "Don't go."
The Uchiha's brows knit and he stepped closer to brush a gentle hand against the tanned cheek, "I have to. You know I can't stay here."
Naruto reached up to clutch Itachi's wrist, "Then take me with you," he threw himself forward to wrap his arms around the older shinobi's waist, "Don't leave me alone please."
Moonlight glistened off of twin tear tracks as Itachi brought his arms around the younger male, "It's too dangerous nikkou. I can't hide you from the others."
Naruto's voice was muffled against Itachi's chest, "I don't want to lose you. I don't want to be stuck here with everyone that sees me as a monster."
The ravenette brushed a kiss on the top of Naruto's head knowing that even if he stayed, even if he could avoid detection by the rest of the village, it wouldn't feel right. Every fiber of his being wanted to stay, he didn't want to leave Naruto behind to face the loneliness and the hate filled glares of the village unsupported but he had no choice but to leave. It tore at his already battered and bleeding heart.
He pulled away and took half a step back from the now confused blond. He reached up behind his neck and unhooked the clasp of the necklace he always wore. His deep red eyes met Naruto's again as he hooked it around the younger male's neck, "You won't lose me."
The tanned fingers of one hand reached up to touch the metal links and the circular adornments on it that were still warm from Itachi's body heat. Then Naruto's hands went to the older man's face, the calloused pads of his fingers absorbing the salty tear tracks and tracing the lines of the Uchiha's face like a blind man trying to see. His eyes devoured every feature of Itachi's face, trying to burn them into his memory.
The long black lashes swept down for a moment and the older ninja leaned in to brush his lips over Naruto's with the lightness of butterfly wings. The blond's hands curved around to the back of Itachi's head and he leaned up into the kiss, moving their mouths together firmly. The tender skin of their lips slid against each other, testing and tasting the texture of their opposite.
Naruto parted his lips to take Itachi's bottom lip between them and nibbled softly, laved his tongue over the skin, and sucked gently. He felt the ravenette's mimicking response to his top lip and made a sound somewhere between a moan and a purr.
The kiss broke for half a second to allow them to get air then their lips were pressed together again. A clever tongue slipped out to lick at Naruto's bottom lip and curl up under the top. The blond opened his mouth and brushed his own tongue against the other to welcome it into the moist cavern.
The two slick muscles pushed and danced against each other, not fighting for dominance but simply savoring the other's taste. Pale hands buried in golden hair as Itachi took the kiss deeper. He breathed in, taking Naruto's breath into his lungs for a moment before returning it as his own.
The blond's hands clenched in the long black silk of Itachi's hair as the kiss broke again and the cold metal of the nuke-nin's scratched hitai-ate pressed against his brow. The Uchiha's eyes were closed and his arms slid around the younger male in a tender yet oddly fierce embrace. They stayed like that for untold minutes until the crack of a breaking branch had Itachi's head snapping up like a raccoon scenting a hound.
He reached up to grasp Naruto's wrists and took the blond's hands from his hair. His lips brushed over the inside skin of the jinchuuriki's wrists then he stepped back, "Goodbye."
And then he was gone and Naruto was left standing there with nothing to mark his lover's presence but tingling lips and a necklace. He touched the necklace, a permanent piece of Itachi.
Naruto frowned out his window, his hand toying with Itachi's necklace, his thoughts going to the older man's last visit. He'd shown up in Naruto's apartment, his body wracked by coughing and his back torn to shreds from a whip. Itachi hadn't explained where the lash marks had come from, he'd simply asked for Naruto's help in treating them.
As he'd cleaned and put salve on the pale man's back, he'd seen old lash marks and had realized that failing in an organization such as Akatsuki likely carried a heavy price and not capturing the Kyuubi's jinchuuriki was a big failure. He'd bitten his lip to keep from saying anything and taken care of his wounded lover.
Now, as he sat and pondered his Uchiha's situation, his hands clenched so tightly his nails dug into his palms and cut through the skin. He ignored the sting, his thoughts on how Itachi was doing, trapped in Akatsuki's world with Sasuke hunting him. He'd weaseled the truth of the Uchiha massacre out of Itachi and he'd begged the older man to let him go to Tsunade with it, to let the truth be known so he could come home. Itachi had refused, insisting that he had to stay in Akatsuki to protect both Naruto and Sasuke from the leader.
Naruto bit his lip and whimpered a bit. He didn't want to be protected when it meant his most beloved person was suffering for it. He'd happily sacrifice himself if it meant Itachi could be freed from the chains that shackled him to the life of a nuke-nin.
He closed his eyes and whispered, "Please be okay."
Naruto dashed through the trees, tracking Sasuke while a clone was back with Kiba and the others.
The blond whirled and met the deep red of his lover's eyes then rushed forward to catch him in an embrace. He pulled back a little and plucked at the older man's clothes, searching for any injuries or new scars.
Itachi chuckled a bit and caught the blond's hands, "Naruto I don't have much time."
Shimmering blue eyes looked up at the pale features of the Uchiha, "What is it?"
The older man pressed a scroll into Naruto's hands, "Give that to Tsunade next time you see her."
The jinchuuriki slipped the scroll into a pocket then turned back to Itachi, "Are you okay?"
A small tilt of the Uchiha's lips answered him, "Don't worry about me nikkou."
"Why not? I might not be able to stay with you but that doesn't mean I'm not thinking of you."
Itachi leaned down and kissed Naruto's forehead, "Thank you but I'm fine."
He stepped back a little and turned to leave.
"Hold on a sec," Naruto rummaged in his pocket and drew out a carved-wood pendant in the shape of a swirl on an adjustable leather cord. He slipped it over Itachi's head and kissed the tip of the Uchiha's nose as he shorted the cord, "There. Now you've got something of me with you all the time."
Itachi blinked slowly, reaching up to stroke the smooth wood of the swirl. He bent and gave Naruto a swift, intense kiss before leaving him again.
The Uchiha flew through the trees, still fingering the pendant. A lump formed in his throat, tears slipped down the pale face, and he closed his hand over the swirl, his heart aching with each step he took, knowing that though he and Naruto held tangible objects to symbolize their feelings for each other the blond would never see him again in this world. Their next meeting would have to take place in the afterlife. As pissed off as Naruto was sure to be at him, Itachi knew that the blond would forgive him and be happy to see him.
Because, though their lives and bodies were subject to fading and destruction, their love was permanent.
Nikkou means sunshine. Well what did you think? I worked very very hard on this and would really appreciate honest feedback. Please review?