Disclaimer: I begged and begged, but Kishimoto said no. :(
A/N: Behold, finally, the fic that A Very Important Conversation is from. :D
You know, I was initially going to start this off by saying that I felt just plain horrible about not finishing WF before starting on this baby, as I had promised to do. Buut... I don't. :D WF is so, so, so terribly dramatic and over-the-top and long-winded... eh heh. I do plan on finishing it, I just can't seem to do it right now. So after having wasted a good few years trying to force that fic out of myself, and constantly wanting to write this one instead, I finally gave in and this just started pouring out of me. I mean unstoppable force, fingers moving faster than my brain kind of stuff (read: the kind of thing authors dream of).
This plot came to me on a whim many moons ago, and I love it. It's silly, it's dramatic, and as far as I know, hasn't been done before. This follows the manga up to nearly the very end of chapter 393, then sort of takes a detour and prevents one of the greatest tragedies the Naruto franchise has ever produced. ;_; If you feel the same way I do, then you'll already know what I'm talking about.
So.. enjoy! Huzzah!
The Neverland Theory
Haunted black eyes watched as the two men behind the counter dropped their respective clipboards, their mouths falling open in unison with the clack of the boards on the ground. Sasuke remained impassive as their stares moved from his face to the rather heavy burden he was carrying on his back, then upward again slowly. After the second round of this, the Uchiha grew impatient.
"If this were a really dire situation, I would imagine the Hokage might have already been notified..?"
At the sound of his voice, the two gate admissions officers blinked back into reality; one of them reached backward to hit a button on the intercom. The voice that came over the line was fuzzy, a clear sign that the wiring was in need of replacement, among other things.
"Station forty-two, can I help you station three?"
"Yeah, uh, we have one... Sasuke Uchiha here with us. And also one unconscious... Itachi Uchiha...?" The guard looked at Sasuke for affirmation, a pained sort of expression forming on his face as the Uchiha nodded slowly, eyeing the man behind the counter like a landlord might have looked at a tenant asking for a loan. "They would, uh, like an audience with the Hokage."
There was a staticy pause, as if the man in station forty-two had pressed the button to respond, but suddenly had nothing to say. Sasuke shifted his bro--burden up a little higher, redistributing the weight on his shoulders. People were starting to stare. One woman had nearly walked right into him, turned to apologize, realized who she was speaking to, and in her horror had dropped her grocery bag and ran.
Finally, the voice came over the line again. "ANBU are on their way... Are they, uh... doing anything?"
"No... not really."
Ten flashes of animal masks crossed Sasuke's vision. They surrounded him, all ten at the ready. It was the other five chakra signatures that sprung up on the rooftops that he glanced at, however. Fifteen ANBU was unprecedented. If the circumstances had been different, he might've smirked.
"Sasuke Uchiha," the purple-haired female ANBU captain opposite him began. "Are you aware that you are carrying known S-class criminal and missing-nin of this village, Itachi Uchiha, on your back?"
"And have you willingly brought him here?"
"Yes." His voice held no shade of emotion.
She signaled two of the other ANBU to take Itachi from his back. "Under order of the Hokage, I must place you both under arrest until further interrogation can be performed."
Black eyes stared unwaveringly into the two eye slits of the mask before him, not moving even as Itachi's deadweight slid from his body into the arms of the ANBU. Sasuke felt his wrists being tugged into chakra-suppressing handcuffs, but he still didn't look away. Sasuke had no reason to stop them, no reason to put up a fight. The woman before him seemed to realize this fact.
"You really aren't trying to start anything, are you?" The captain said, curiosity getting the best of her. "Why are you here? Why are you cooperating?"
"Take me to the Hokage." His voice was quiet but resolute; he wasn't going to explain himself to her. The woman understood this as well, nodding once and pulling her hands into a seal.
"To Hokage Tower!" The group flashed out of sight.
In their absence, the gawkers in the street began excitedly talking amongst themselves. The two guards watched nervously as a group of women pointed in their direction, cackling. One of the men reached down to recover his forgotten clipboard.
"So..." he began conversationally, trying to put the papers back in order on the board. "What are the odds of anyone finding out how long it took us to respond?"
His comrade turned away from the street scene. "I think there might be a chance that no one will ever know."
The pair blinked before sighing heavily.
The room was silent as Tsunade studied its occupants, particularly the one in handcuffs. Sasuke was gaunt, pale in an unnatural way, and positively boneweary. He was offering absolutely no resistance, with Itachi giving even less of a fight as he lay comatose on the futon in the corner. Five of the ANBU who had brought the brothers here were still present: a pair overlooking Itachi, one on either side of Sasuke, and Captain Uzuki lingering between the desk and the youngest brother. Shizune stood behind Tsunade's desk, arms wrapped around her waist, staring at the scene with the same eyes as her teacher.
This was certainly not the usual state of the Hokage's office at ten-thirty on a sunny Wednesday morning.
"He isn't dead." Tsunade stated suddenly, watching as Sasuke visibly flinched out of what must've been an impressive reverie. "Why isn't he dead? Why is he asleep on my futon?"
"I don't know."
Tsunade straightened in her chair a bit. "Excuse me..?"
"He should dead," Sasuke continued slowly, unsure of the words even as they came out of his mouth. "He was almost dead... I thought he was dead."
His audience was rapt as they listened now. Blonde eyebrows furrowed. "I don't understand, Uchiha. Explain yourself."
Sasuke closed his eyes.
"My eyes... my..." Itachi stumbled forward over the rocks.
Sasuke tripped over something backwards, scrambling to regain his footing as he moved away from Itachi. He felt his back hit the wall; there was nowhere to go. The heart in his chest was racing, pounding, fighting so hard he was afraid it might stop. A pale hand loomed a scant foot from his face, the ring on its fourth finger gleaming wickedly as blood flowed over its smooth surface.
Sweat dripped down his face. It was over. He was going to die blind. Ragged breaths were all he could manage. Oh God. Oh God. The pointer finger and the middle finger slid forward, black nails covered in thick scarlet. Closer, closer and suddenly... they hit his forehead, pressing into the skin for a brief moment before sliding down the bridge of his nose, leaving sticky trails in their wake.
Itachi was falling, inexorably, to the ground.
"He was dead," Sasuke breathed, eyes still shut, his hands clenching white-knuckled behind his back. "Then.... he wasn't anymore."
Itachi's other hand shot out, roughly grabbing Sasuke's shoulder and slamming it back into the wall; a painfully surprised noise made its way out of the younger Uchiha's throat. The man before him trembled violently, his head snapping up to reveal wide, Sharingan-free eyes brimming with tears. Then Itachi began to scream, shaking the shoulder he still gripped forcefully until it was banging against the rock wall again.
"Take me home! Take me home!" Itachi's eyes burned into his brother's for a long moment before his body suddenly gave out, collapsing against Sasuke. The sound of roaring flames filled the silence.
"Before he fell into the coma, he was screaming, crying, telling me to take him home." Sasuke finished, looking stricken as he regained eye contact with the Hokage. "So I did."
End A/N: Three cheers for dramedy! I'm trying to be realistic with school starting up in two weeks, so I'ma say a chapter a month. Probably/maybe/hopefully sooner than that, but I won't make any promises, cause I hate making a liar out of myself.
I would absolutely give you my first-born if you left me a review. :D