Inhuman emerald eyes snapped open, a soft tired groan passing dry, cracked lips in a light puff of breath. Smooth, pale hands, shaped like an artists save the calluses on the fingers and palm, pushed his body up as his spare curled around a staff of black. Brushing his hand off on his shirt, he lifted the hand, dried blood peeling off of the blood-soaked hand, the pale skin dyed red-brown all the way to his wrist where it disappeared under a sleeve. He pushed a lock of black haired behind a slightly pointed ear, revealing the pattern of beautiful scales up his neck, they were black but the edges were decorated with gold and silver. Surveying the area with his inhuman eyes, he blinked in surprised. Twisted dead tree's cast ominous shadows on the dry, brown grass. Strong legs slowly bent as he stood, a shaft of dying sunlight high lightly his features as the shadows hiding him slithered away like snakes. Hair as black as ebony night tumbled to mid-back, restrained by a red band which pulled it into a ponytail, a song fringe was tied back by a thick band of red material which restrained portions of the fringe on both sides. His skin was pale white but his hands, arm and neck were dyed the red-brown of dried blood. In his hand was a black staff, rubies decorated it and on each end was an sphere coloured a deep bloody red, inside the orb was the shadow of a black dragon and a black dragon protruded from the top of the staff, on of its wings cradling the orb carefully as its neck bent as if the orb was its young. The orb at the bottom of the staff, however, was held in place by a dragons tail, as if the staff itself was a dragon, though the rubies looked oddly like eyes and it seemed to be sentinel.

His name was Ryuu and he didn't question his whereabouts even though it was obvious he was out of place, he mearly stepped through the tree's to take a good look around. Halting sharply after breaking through the clearing he saw the destruction, rubble lay everywhere, covering the ground completely, on a thick slab of flat rock a dark haired man of around 18-19 was laying, his breaths choked and stuttering as his life-force drained, he was sprawled out, his hair splayed about him like a strange frowned, stepped forward and leaping with great agility over to the dying man. A thin pale hand rested against the man's chest where his heart was struggling on and Ryuu looked down at the black eyed man. "Would you like to be healed, to live?" His voice was near silent, like a whisper of wind but it kept the dying man awake with its musically hypnotic quality. The dying man looked at him with eyes that were glazed. His eye sight was deteriorating, Ryuu observed. The man was exhausted but he nodded weakly. "Alright. Forgive me for doing what I am about to without your consent."

Glazed eyes flicked to him from where they had wandered but Ryuu was already leaning forward, he pressed his lips against the young man's and a smoke-like substance that was coloured a deep red flowed into the young man where it changed into a deep blue colour that was like ice. The young man seemed a lot better, awake and alert but his eyesight still looked terrible so Ryuu slowly closed the now sleeping man's eyes and laid a hand over them, his hand glowing the same red before it seeped into the man's skin and the man seemed to sag slightly with relief. The red substance was a healer and it healed almost everything it could find that was wrong with the man. Ryuu's staff glowed and disappeared, transforming into a black bracelet of a Japanese black, gold and silver dragon. Ryuu turned as a group broke through the tree's. "Who're you?" That was an orange haired young man, he looked irritated and sad.

"Ryuu." Ryuu said nothing else as he moved the man onto his back and leapt down from the rubble, landing lightly next to the group. "I mean you now harm, I only ask that you let be pass. As you can see this man is injured and I need to treat him." This was a slight lie, the man would be fine without much of his help.

"B-but that's Itachi Uchiha, he's an S-Class missing-nin." The pink haired one said, startled. With some careful mind magic he managed to pick out all the info about this country, the terms, and the layout in a split second.

"I don't care. He asked for help and he shall receive it. No matter the consequences on my part, I will heal him." He looked at them with a smile and pointed. "The one you seek heads that way but hurry, it will not be long before you loose his trail. I have a feeling Itachi wouldn't like it if you lost him. No go! I will see you again." The group nodded, too focused on their objective at the moment to think straight, in dark shapes they disappeared towards the way his finger hand pointed. Ryuu knew that they would lose him, he was moving too fast and already had a head start.

Ryuu then leapt through the tree's, he would think upon what he'd learned later, for now he needed to find shelter. Leaping from tree to tree with a person on his back was a simple task but trying not to jostle the injured man into awakening was not as such. Ryuu stopped as he noticed a simple hut in the distance, it looked abandoned but it was fine for a night. Checking quickly for enemies, a habit he'd picked up after surprise attacks, he leapt down and pushed the door open carefully, peering in to see a bed with ruffled sheets and a small cat with midnight-blue fur and deep amber eyes that was shuddering as he curled underneath the thin sheets. Ryuu reached for the cat, keeping one arm to hold onto Itachi, he carefully picked it up around the middle and rubbed at its dirty fur as put it into the pocket of his coat, allowing the cat to soak up his warmth as it began to purr. Ryuu pulled the sheets back and carefully lay the tall man down, unbuttoning the long coat he had on and laying it on a broken chair.

Ryuu then touched the area by his heart again, red seeping through his skin and Itachi's skin regained its colour. He pulled the sheets over Itachi's body and then covered him with Itachi's long coat and his own red cloak which was thick for cold weather. Ryuu then sighed and sat in the only non broken chair, lifting the cat from his coat pocket and cupping it's still cold body in his hands, holding it against him for warmth as his eyes slid closed, listening to the quiet of the area. Ryuu sat there for a while, just listening as Itachi and the cat slept, both warm and cosy while Ryuu himself was freezing, not that he'd admit it to anyone. Ryuu's head lifted up as fast paced footsteps caught his ears, they were near silent and it sounded like an ambush. Ryuu put the cat next to Itachi for warmth and his hand glowed, a sword materializing out of thin air as he summoned his blade, it was a skeletal blade with dragon-like qualities, it was black and the skeletal feature were silver though at the hilt there was a purple stone.

The blade itself was called Youto: Angoku Dama which meant, Cursed blade: Jade of the Abyss. He went towards the door, sliding the sheath off of the sword silently and tossing it on the chair as the door was knocked lightly. Ryuu opened it, putting the blade out of sight as he smiled pleasantly."Hello, can I help you?" Ryuu said, his voice polite as his grip on the sword tightened though his muscles and face remained calm and relaxed. Ryuu ducked as a kunai tore through the air, slicing off strands of his hair in the process. Ryuu then leapt out the door, his sword glinting in the moonlight. He moved with careful precision as enemies leapt into the fray. Quick, silent steps signalled an attack as the sword plunged home, tearing through the skin like a hot knife through butter. As the fight continued, Ryuu was unaware of his awaking patient, busy as he was defending the man from enemy attacks. Judging from the headbands they were a few stray sound nin whom wanted revenge but got the Uchiha's brother instead.

Black eyes snapped open but he didn't change his breathing pattern nor did he shift, he listened carefully and his trained ears caught the sounds of fighting outside. One person standing infront of the door, protecting him. Why? The fight was over and the person sighed wiping the blood from his blade as he snapped his fingers, fire sprang from his hands and the bodies where dust in the wind in seconds, leaving behind the scent of burning flesh and blood. He walked inside and Ryuu saw his patient awake. "Are you okay, Itachi?" Ryuu said quietly as he came over, putting his blade on the chair after sheathing it. He scooped up the cat, holding it against him as he coughed slightly, blood dripping from his lips.

Itachi tensed visibly. If the man knew his name, was he planning to turn him in to Konoha for money? Why did he protect him then? Too many questions. "W-who are you?" Itachi's voice was uncharacteristically soft as he slowly pulled himself up, taking the covers with him, his body gave out and the man helped him to sit up. Glancing downward he saw a thin blanket, his coat and what he assumed as the man's. A breeze caugh his arms and he frowned. The man must've been freezing in only that. "I'm Ryuu Amaranth. I'll be your caretaker for a little while." Ryuu said, his voice weakening at the end as he coughed loudly. He wiped the blood away and placed his palm on Itachi's chest as Itachi watched him, too weak to do more then that at the moment. Itachi saw his hand glow red and immediately he felt better as the red sank beneath his skin. "There." Ryuu sighed, he coughed again and moved towards the chair, putting the blade against the wall as he sagged into the chair. "I don't have enough energy to heal myself. I can only sustain my life-force that balancing out yours. If I don't, you will die. I need to wait until your life-force recharges." Ryuu said this almost to himself as he pressed his hand against the bleeding cut in his side.

Itachi looked at him judgingly before moving his hand towards himself with calm, calculating eyes. Ryuu followed the obvious order easily though he stumbled slightly, his body weakened by the stab wound. Itachi pressed his hands to the wound, his hands glowed with green chakra, the wound slowly healed, Itachi seemed to struggle to stay awake with his already weak reverses."Go to sleep, Itachi. I'll protect you until your on your feet again." Ryuu said soothingly. Itachi looked at him with black eyes, a strange shining to them. "You know, it's okay to cry." Itachi, in what was an uncharacteristic move for him, nodded slightly and silent tears crept down his cheeks and his body shook. Ryuu smiled quietly and wrapped his arms around the tearful ninja as he sobbed for the first time in his life.

The prodigy of the Uchiha clan, the murder of the very same and Akatsuki's weapon cried in the arms of a stranger at what he'd been forced to do and held back any and all emotions. Ryuu smiled quietly as he soothed him, murmuring soft comforting words to the man who was older than him. When Itachi was back to normal, they would not speak of this and if anyone asked, it never happened. Itachi drifted to sleep, still clutching Ryuu like a lifeline as he cried silently in his sleep, his body trembling with suppressed sobs. Ryuu didn't protest as his leg was twisted, nor did he protest that his back was killing him, he just held the man who gave up everything for his village and his brother.


The next morning saw them moving again, silent steps on the thick branches as booted feet then lifted from the branch and continued moving. On his back was the awake Itachi who looked angry at being carried but he'd been told firmly that until he was fully healed he wasn't going anywhere. Itachi complied but Ryuu still followed his directions on where to go, it was a partnership. Itachi was leading him towards the Akatsuki hideout. He had to stop Sasuke from joining the Akatsuki. Unbeknownst to them, Sasuke already had and Konoha had been destroyed. They stopped as the forest ended and Itachi pointed with his painted purple fingernails pointing towards a house that was hidden by a large cluster of rocks. Itachi sighed slightly as Ryuu leapt forwards. The only reason he was back here was because of his brother, he would have loved to get away from Madara if he could. Ryuu opened the door and walked in, his alert eyes scanning the hallway as silence reigned.

"Itachi!" Called a cheerfully deceptive voice which made him cringe slightly. It was Madara. "You're okay!" The voice sounded slightly disappointed and Itachi ignored it as he noticed his wide eyed brother standing behind Madara, his brothers followers behind him. Sasuke pushed Madara's restraining hand away and moved slowly down the stairs, his pace sedate though his eyes were wild and desperate. Ryuu noticed this and carefully let Itachi down, stepping towards the stairs to stop Madara from interfering.

Sasuke passed by him quietly, a soft whisper passing his ears. "I don't know who you are but thank you." Sasuke's lips lifted very slightly before he continued on.

Ryuu grinned and summoned another of his swords. It was as black as ebony, the sheath quite large as the sword was the same,, a ruby sat in the hilt and the hilt was formed in a cross shape, another cross sticking out of it, the four points decorated with diamonds. The rest of the sword was large and even the blade was black. It was beautiful and outlined in a purple aura which made the sword look very dangerous. "Now, now. That's not very nice." Madara said with a laugh. "You sure you know how to use that thing?" Ryuu looked at him with calm eyes.

"Want to find out?" He said in a perfectly calm voice, his eyes remaining fixed on the startled Uchiha. He smiled dangerously and looked at the two brothers, who were talking quietly. Sasuke seemed to shake slightly, his black hair shifting in such a way that it hid his tears. Itachi smiled, a soft brotherly smile and wrapped his strong arms around his little brother for their first hug in 10 years. Madara seemed to snarl slightly and went to jump towards them but Ryuu leapt up to meet him and sliced at Madara with his sword. "Don't interfere, stupid boy!" Ryuu snarled, lashing out with his purple glowing sword and slicing Madara deeply across the stomach and kicking him where the wound appeared.

Madara made a sound of pain and landed heavily on the stairs, his back making a sickening crack against the hard wood, no carpet to protect his back. "Itachi, Itachi's brother. If we're leaving, now is the time. I can't keep the kid busy in my current state." Ryuu said quietly, smiling.

"Alright." Itachi murmured quietly, glancing at Sasuke for an answer. Sasuke nodded shortly. Ryuu growled angrily and kicked Madara back again.

"Itachi's little brother, grab Itachi and get going, I'll follow in a second." Ryuu said through gritted teeth as he dodged a blow. "You're getting annoying boy!" Ryuu snarled.

"Who are you calling boy, I'm plenty older than you." Madara said as Sasuke followed Ryuu's order with a slight glare. Sasuke's companions followed him, loyal to the end, they would question it later. Ryuu laughed loudly. "You really aren't, you stupid child. You obviously have no idea, do you?" Ryuu said amusedly as he laughed again. "Well, I'll leave to you stew on that, it's time for me to go now." Ryuu's body glowed purple and he kicked out with both feet, causing Madara to go flying backwards and landing unconscious by the wall. Ryuu landed lightly and darted out door, following the Uchiha's chakra as he banished his sword.

He put on a burst of speed and caught up with them easily. "Sorry for the delay. I'm Ryuu Amaranth, it's lovely to meet you." Ryuu said as he smiled at them.

"Suigetsu " The silver haired man said with a smile full of sharp teeth.

"Karin." A black haired girl with glasses giggled, she looked a bit flushed.

"Juugo." A ginger haired man with a bird on his shoulder said."Sasuke." Itachi said for his brother, pointing at the person carrying him."Nice to meet cha. Follow me. I've got to check up on something." Ryuu said, increasing his pace and changing direction.


This is just a trial run, what do you think?Should the story be continued? Let me know! =]