A. N. The song for this chapter, is "My heart calling" by Eric Serra
I had help with edition from Warrior of Sangre
Tell me who I am
Tell me what I'm hearing
Is it God or man
Leads us to our fate
Darkness turns to light
While my soul is healing
I know I must fight
This war deep inside
It's my heart calling
It's my heart calling
It's my heart seeing
What it wants to see
It's my heart crying
It's my heart flying
It's my heart trying
To set me free
Chapter 4 you're still here
The ravens filled the air of the clearing and flew in circles, while the few of them, flew chaotically; they made the typical sound of the group that gathered and that noise hurt Sasuke's ears. He gritted his teeth enraged and shouted
"Show yourself!"And he looked around, looking for the blond, knowing that he was still close. He turned to look behind, narrowing his eyes and saw his former teammate's face emerge from the air, as it formed from the few ravens that merged with each other. It caused the face to be seen only partly, as here and there were feathers, and the wings and tails of these birds still moved, overall making him cringe at the picture. He wondered how he was caught in this illusion if he was using his own doujutsu, and noticed that the red eyes of the blond no longer had black dots in them, but the mangekyo Sharingan, in the shape of shuriken, that Itachi used to have. These eyes gazed at him, almost sadly, and he wanted to hurt him, to make him feel pain, and to take those eyes away, because they were not his.
He activated his mangekyo too, and attacked with his blade, covering it and himself in lightning, as he rushed to the side and pivoted on his left heel, swinging the sword horizontally. It was stopped with the same kunai, which was now covered in the thin layer of the wind chakra. It didn't budge, as if the sword was a mere stick that had no sharp edges, and the strength behind it was nothing but the push from a child. Sasuke glared at the blond who fully emerged from the illusionary ravens and pushed with all his might, trying to prove that he was stronger. The blond merely observed him as very slowly, his gaze was turning hateful too, and their battle of stares began.
"You traitor…"Hissed Sasuke, baring his teeth, almost like a snake, that was ready to bite and poison its prey or attacker. His former teammate responded to it with a whisper, that had more hatred and pain in it than it ever did.
Simultaneously they pushed and parted their weapons, only to swing with them once more, creating a loud clang. Sasuke pivoted on the left heel again, but this time to hit the blond's head with his right leg, only for it to be blocked with Naruto's right hand. He scowled at it and gritting his teeth visibly, bent his right knee and lowered his leg to hit the blond in the guts with a foot. It was caught and sharply turned, causing the avenger to fall and roll on the ground. He quickly stood up and started to make hand seals, inhaling deeply, before blowing out the wide fire ball, that covered one third of the clearing easily.
In the smoke that it created, he couldn't see if it reached the target, but something just told him, that it didn't. Maybe it was the confidence that his former teammate sported, or just a feeling, but he knew he didn't even scratch him. He narrowed his eyes, seeing that the few ravens that were still flying above, merged together, forming the blond, who landed on the ground on his feet and faced him. From the inside of the smoke, the blond he fought walked out, without a hint of being touched, and stopping beside the second Naruto, faced him too.
"Clones…" Realized the black haired teen and scowled, hating the fact that Naruto preferred to fight him with copies of himself, instead of facing him himself. It was insulting, because it looked like he didn't think that Sasuke was strong enough to having to be fought by original. He bared his teeth in anger and concentrated on his body, which after quicker than before, he moved and attacked the clones, curving like a snake and avoiding any hits with fluid moves. In a quick motion, his sword pierced one of the clones through the stomach, as the second was immobilized by the snakes that encircled his ankles from under the ground. But before the second clone was destroyed by Sasuke's sharp blade, he managed to cut Sasuke's shoulder, making it bleed. In the puff of smoke the avenger looked left and right, and his bangs shifted, raised by the wind. He put his sword on his back, under the lilac sash, that was made of rope, and turned around, looking for the true Naruto; fisting his hands in anger he spoke,"I suggest you fight me yourself, instead of wasting chakra,"
A moment later the blond started to emerge from under the ground in front of Sasuke and the black haired teen glared at him, seeing the body slowly rise above the earth. He focused his chakra on the illusion of the blond being pierced in lungs, heart, sides, back and hips with sharp, black, tinted red feathers, and almost felt pleasure at the sight he himself created, but the blond didn't even react to it, continuing to stand and gaze at him with emotion hidden behind the coldness; and then the feathers strangely slid down, turning into dark red snakes, that crawled to Sasuke's feet and turned into red, sticky, bloodied ropes that mercilessly encircled his knees and wrists; the ropes pulled him down to the ground and he pulled them up using all of his strength, not willing to fall; he wanted to gag at the amount of blood and the stains it left on his hands, and pulled himself out of genjutsu, sweating with the effort. He panted and looked up, only to see his former teammate stand in front of him untouched, unscathed, and what was even more insulting, calm and relaxed. There wasn't even the drop of sweat on him and it was hurting his pride. He was composed as if this fight didn't mean anything, and Sasuke was just a child, that the blond let get close and play games, for his own amusement.
They stared at each other with Naruto keeping all of his feelings inside, while Sasuke's gaze was hateful, and unable to keep his emotions controlled Sasuke attacked the blond with his fists.
Shikamaru landed with Inoichi in the clearing and his eyes went wide seeing the corpses; bloody bodies of anbu, and shockingly, the Hokage. The white mantle of the leader of the village stood out mockingly against the background, dark, dirty, dusty and red. He looked to the right and saw Sasuke's companions stand at the edge of the scene not moving. Their gazes met, and he glared at the frowning swordsman, known now to him as Suigetsu. Inoichi observed them too, and they did not move to attack. At their puzzled expressions, Karin spoke adjusting her glasses.
"Sasuke-kun asked us not to interfere in his fight,"
Shikamaru blinked and turned to look ahead, where in some distance, were seen the best friends, and now, enemies, fighting each other in a hand to hand combat. The day turned evening, and the lack of light didn't let the spectators see the details, but when the opponents were close enough, they could hear them.
The raven haired teen's fist hit the ribs, and his elbow hit the chest of the blond, pushing him. Naruto stopped the next hit catching the right fist in his own right, and left in his left, crossing their hands, which after he pulled Sasuke down and his raised foot hit his stomach, and releasing Sasuke's arms, he kicked him in the face, throwing the teen's head back. Sasuke felt the taste of blood in his mouth and knew that now on his jaw formed a large bruise; he turned in his fall to roll on the ground, instead of falling on his back, and quickly stood up, unsealing shuriken from his wrists and throwing them in direction of the blond. He skillfully dodged and in the back of his mind Sasuke wondered how strong the blond was. Was he on par with Itachi? Or Itachi was stronger?
The black haired teen reached for his sword and attacked again, now faster, with more effort and strength behind each move he made. The blond blocked his swings with kunai, and seeing the opening, hit him with the elbow. Surprisingly, Sasuke turned into the mud, revealing to have been a clone, and Naruto looked behind from the corner of his left eye, waiting for his opponent to appear. Then, for a moment, his vision was covered in black, and his reflexes forced him to block the punch, aimed at his side, and dodge the swing, that could cut off his arm. He released himself from illusion in time to see the sword descending down to cut him in half from above, and acting quickly turned to the side, only to feel that his legs were caught in a wire, and the avenger put the right foot over his from behind and pressed the sharp edge to his neck ready to cut it.
Sasuke's left arm held the blond in a dead grip, but Naruto still seemed to be coldly calm, as if he expected it. Irked by it greatly Sasuke narrowed his eyes and hissed. He barely controlled his anger, and knew it would only take an inch, a slight move of his wrist to kill the blond…
"How could you… you keep saying that you're my friend… that you want to save me… to help me… and yet… right behind my back… you… fuck… with him…"His grip tightened and became painful and he shook with fury, speaking in a hoarse voice,"…what have you done… to him? You… manipulated him… you used him… how smart of you, Naruto. You… you betrayed me. You lied to me. How… how could you… kiss his hands?"
The blond scowled and threw his head back to hit Sasuke's face as his elbow hit him in the ribs, pushing him back. Naruto's red eyes that were spinning wildly became framed with the red eyelids, and he slowly turned around, to look at Sasuke who tightly held his sword at his side and was looking down on the ground, panting in anger.
"How could you, kiss the hands that killed my family, my parents… How could you?!"He shouted looking up and trembling with emotion.
On Naruto's face was a sad expression, and he bit his lip as the tears threatened to escape his eyes,"I loved him,"He whispered. He watched his friend grace him with nothing but fury and hatred, as his body was ready to attack and kill, to destroy. "And you… you killed him, Sasuke,"He continued, and one salty drop slid down his left cheek, trailing between the lines that decorated his face. A grimace formed on Sasuke's face, and his body started to cover with small shining sparks of his element. Above them in the sky appeared the dark storm-clouds and was heard the thundering, indicating the closing in storm.
"I am glad I did,"He answered with venom, and he raised his head, looking down on his former teammate, now burning with disgust at the memory, where he saw them together…
"So much hatred…"Whispered the blond narrowing his moist eyes. Sasuke called for the lightning and almost roared, when he ran to shut this mouth up; he raised his arm to swing the blade and caught the lightning, that suddenly descended from the sky and connected to him through the metal of his weapon and he prepared for the swing that will kill this traitor once and forever and expected the blond to evade, but when he got close enough to him, Naruto stood still, and then, his right arm calmly rose and bent, when he hit Sasuke on the side of the head with the back of his hand. The move of the arm was simple, fluid and easy, while the force of the blow was so great, that it made Uchiha fly horizontally across the clearing, severing his connection with the storm, and making him hit the tree with the grunt. Not even a second later, the blond was above him and raised him by the neck up, pressing him to the trunk of the tree.
The new witnesses of the scene, Tsunade and Ino, who barely was able to keep up with the Godaime, stared at it with shock, and the girl wanted to run to stop the blond, not wishing for any of them to get hurt, when she was stopped by Tsunade's arm on her shoulder. They caught the sight of the bodies on the ground, and loudly gasped.
The right hand of the blond squeezed the pale neck tightly, and Sasuke raised his arms to stop it, he gripped the arm but could do nothing, the hold was too strong.
"Tell me, Sasuke, what is it, that you truly hate? Me …betraying you, with your brother, or me… being, with your brother?"The blond asked in a soothing whisper, gazing at the struggling Uchiha.
"You… kissed… his fucking… hands…"Sasuke managed to take out, trying to free himself from the grip. At his speech the blond tilted his head slightly, and curiously looked into Sasuke's eyes.
"Ah… are you jealous, Sasuke?"He inquired softly, like Itachi would do. Sasuke widely opened his eyes to stare at him and then glared with passion, recognizing the manner, in which the blond spoke. "Maybe… you hate the fact that it was me, and not you,"The blond continued, leaning closer to Sasuke's face,"that it was me, who forgave him, instead of you,"The blond tilted his head to the other side, observing Sasuke,"Or maybe… you hate me for being closer to him than you, ever could?"
Sasuke shut his eyes not willing to show his emotions, but he wanted to scream, to shout so loud so that someone would finally hear him, hear his pain, that he held inside. He just didn't want to admit it to anyone, ever, even himself, that he felt this, that he couldn't understand this.
"Tell me, what do you have, Sasuke? His three, most powerful techniques? How wonderful,"Naruto smiled,"Well, sorry to disappoint you, but I… have all the rest. I, have everything, so your three nice powers, aren't impressive much,"He said with a slight shrug. And then his left hand rose with a kunai, the same he had from the beginning, and he played with it, before his body tensed, and his cold gaze pierced Uchiha.
"I hate you for killing him, Sasuke,"The blond said lowly,"Do you share that hatred with me?"He asked softly, pushing and pulling Sasuke's nerves and strings further, wishing to break him, to hurt him, and remind him, of what he did,"I want to hurt you so much…"
"Let me go… you fucking traitor…"Muttered the avenger, desperate to be free and tired of being held in the grip. The blond leaned closer to his face, and examined it.
"Me, traitor? Look at yourself, Sasuke,"He replied sadly,"Look at you…"He repeated to himself. "You are so much alike… on the surface,"He started; sounding almost fascinated, and looked at Sasuke's eyes. "And yet… there's nothing resembling him inside,"He continued bitterly, and the eyes he stared in filled with pain, and sorrow, and Sasuke didn't want to, but agreed, even though no word left his mouth,"I want to kill you. To have my revenge… and yet I can't,"Naruto said, leaning to whisper in Sasuke's ear,"…because I swore to protect you, otouto, and I will,"He almost embraced Sasuke with these words, but then his left hand pierced, through Sasuke's skin, plunging the kunai in his stomach, causing the black haired teen to soundlessly scream, and then grunt and hiss with pain,"After I get over my hatred for you, that is,"the blond finished, twisting the knife before pulling it out; he let go of Sasuke's neck, uncaringly grabbing his white shirt and putting, almost throwing him on the ground on his back.
"I believe you can take care of the rest, Tsunade-sama,"The blond spoke turning to the woman,"I don't want to see his face for now,"He added, leaving the scene with the cold look. The spectators stared at his back with shock as he left.
He knocked on the door slightly, but heard no response. Not bothering to knock one more time, he opened it and walked in. The room was clean, as it supposed to be in a hospital; there was an occupied bed by the wall, and by it, the chair. The tall, brown haired, always collected jounin walked to it and gazed down at the patient.
Hatake Kakashi peacefully slept and dreamed of ladies, as in his dreams the stories of his favorite books were coming true, and he enjoyed the adventures and romances, that made his life all the more enjoyable and colorful. In that particular moment he was saving the young lady that was attacked by bandits, when she walked down the street late at night. They easily noticed her, because she was blonde haired, blue eyed and her beautiful forms were hard to not notice. She was alone and couldn't protect herself, but then, Kakashi, who heard her screaming for help, appeared from behind the corner, and as the man who saves the day, he started to beat the shit out of them, using his most powerful and impressive jutsus…
"Ne, Kakashi-sempai, I know you're always late, but that's too much,"Muttered Tenzou looking down at the sleeping jounin, as he stooped over the man and noticed the smile that was slightly seen behind the blue fabric of the mask. Tenzou raised a brow at that and wondered if he should wake the jounin up from his sweet dreaming, or give him some more time to enjoy… In the end, Tenzou just shrugged and violently shook the man.
"Ah… no… not yet… um, sure… darling…"Mumbled Kakashi in his sleep at that and smiled even wider. Tenzou stared down at the man disbelievingly and then shook him some more.
"No no no no no…"Kakashi quickly repeated and frowned, turning on his other side. Tenzou 'tsk'ed and sat on the chair, and then he tilted his head a bit, blinking. Then, thinking that his idea should work, he nodded to himself and placed his palms to his mouth, hoping to sound louder
"Konoha's under attack! Konoha's under attack!"He shouted uncharacteristically, and very quickly and sharply, Kakashi, frightened, woke up and rose on the bed. He looked to the side and saw his friend, who sat on the chair with one leg over the other, and boringly stared at him, as if he was waiting for Kakashi to wake up for the last two hours.
"You heard that?"Kakashi asked, and serious as ever, Tenzou frowned and asked
"Heard what?"At which Hatake turned away and stared ahead into space, confused.
"I swear you'll be late on your own funeral, sempai,"Started Tenzou, raising his head and looking down at the man.
"Why's that? Somethin' happened?"Asked the man and looked at his friend and then his eyes widened and he gasped,"Naruto!"
"A-ah,"Agreed Tenzou, nodding,"you've missed the whole thing,"
At this Kakashi frowned and tilted his head,"What… thing?"
"Well, for starts, it appears that Itachi gave Naruto his Sharingan, making a deal with Jiraiya,"Tenzou started, inwardly laughing at the shocked face of Kakashi,"Then, Sasuke appeared in Konoha and found out about it; on his way to get revenge or whatever else on Naruto, he killed Danzou…"
"Wait, wait, wait, are you saying that Danzou's dead?! You must be kidding me…"
"Ehm, no, he's really dead, and then Naruto and Sasuke fought…"
"Huh?! And I missed the whole thing?!"Shouted Kakashi, shocked and looked at Tenzou blinking and ready to burst in tears,"Well, are you going to tell me, how was it?"He asked his friend hopefully.
"No. I wasn't there. But, it appears, they didn't kill each other,"He replied and stared at the jounin, who sighed and looked down, disappointed,"Actually, I am here, to ask you something, it is about Naruto, and Itachi, you knew Itachi before, right?"
The jounin was taken aback by the question and looked at his friend puzzled."Well, I knew him from before, but… barely, why do you ask?"
"I'll be straight to the point. Did you know if Naruto was on drugs, or if Itachi was?"Tenzou asked, genially interested. Kakashi's lonely eye impossibly widened and he stared at his guest with more shock present than ever.
"If that's a joke Tenzou, then it's a bad one,"He voiced seriously, and in his tone was a note of a threat. At that, the man nodded and stood up from his chair; he smiled warmly and patted Kakashi's shoulder.
"Rest well, sempai; I'll come to visit you later,"He said, before walking through the door, leaving Kakashi stunned and frozen.
When he entered the room he expected to find it empty. But his once student, surprisingly, was in the bed, covered with sheets, and was staring at the ceiling. His face was expressionless, and his eyes were dim, making him look tired and ill. The room was awfully quiet, and the window was closed, so no sounds of the street were coming through. The curtains lazily hang down to the floor, and weren't moving, because there was no wind, so the smell of the hospital was evident, and, frankly, unpleasant.
"Long time no see, Sasuke,"The jounin said quietly, closing the door behind him. He stood by it for a moment, pausing in his tracks, and then, walked to the bed with his hands in pockets. He gazed down with his lonely eye at the teen, and guessed that he won't hear a reply. He stood over him and thought what he should start with, but his thinking process was lazy today, and he tilted his head, humming in his musings. Then, some minutes later, he nodded to himself and started in a bored tone.
"I am here because Tsunade-sama wasn't in the mood to see you,"He muttered and discreetly observed the face of the teen, waiting for any reaction. There was none,"For killing the Hokage you should be executed,"He stopped here and started to wonder if the teen heard him at all. He should have reacted at the word execution, right? But he merely continued to lifelessly stare up at the ceiling, which made him seem absent, unconscious, even. "But, as much as someone would wish for your death, we can't do this,"He sighed and closed his eye, slightly shaking his head,"Naruto wouldn't let us. You should be thankful, you know? You're still alive thanks to him,"He opened his eye and lazily glanced at the teen,"We could kill you while you were still sleeping. …But, Naruto wouldn't forgive us,"He fell silent and looked out the window, not moving from his position. He was still tired and maybe should have still slept on the hospital bed, but something told him that he has to do something, or he may… 'miss the whole thing' again.
The rumors where quickly spreading around, starting from Sasuke coming back to the village on his own free will, through Danzou's death being planned by the council, to Uchiha Itachi being alive and around. The piles of bullshit were heard everywhere, and truthfully, there were only few who knew what really has transpired. He himself only knew that Sasuke killed Danzou and then fought Naruto, and was beaten. Then he was also informed of that seal that Jiraiya created. What a powerful thing, and to think, that he burned all the notes… Still, Tenzou said that there must have been something else, of which Inoichi didn't wish to speak. Sure, everybody knew that the mind reader knew more secrets than it was allowed, but if he knew about that seal, Itachi and then Naruto and his secrets and the fox… There could be a lot to dig in… but knowing the man, he will keep quiet till the rest of his days, because it was his job. Though, in the council meeting concerning the fate of Uchiha Sasuke, he was on Naruto's and Tsunade's side, stating that the village needed the boy alive, not executed. Kakashi blinked and looked down; the teen was still staring up…
"The council hasn't decided yet what punishment will be given to you, well, if you stay in the village. It is no secret that you're strong and smart enough to get away and out of here…But still, you'll be probably forced to stay inside Konoha's walls for at least two years, and do a lot of… chores,"The jounin continued in his bored tone, not at all affected by the teen's unresponsive behavior,"Then, you will probably never have a right to be a clan head, a councilman, a Hokage, or a captain,"He added, shrugging. It wasn't his problem, really. "Not a lot to lose, honestly. Though, with Naruto protecting your interests, it wouldn't be that bad, probably,"He mumbled and looked on the floor, thoughtfully. Sasuke never dreamed of those things anyways. But then again, Sasuke had too much pride to let someone be his leader and give him orders… He wouldn't agree to this, ever. Well, unless he really respected that leader. And Kakashi doubted Sasuke would respect the drunkard of a Hokage, or the weakling of a captain, when he himself was stronger and smarter. All in all, there were small chances of Sasuke staying here. And Naruto wouldn't care now, after all that happened. He did for Sasuke more than he should have, and it is time Sasuke learns to stay alive himself, without help of others. He sighed before speaking again.
"Really, you should have listened to me then, three years ago,"
With these words, finally, Sasuke moved. He slowly turned his head away from the jounin, looking at the window now. That could be interpreted in different ways. For starts, it could mean that he didn't agree with the man, and showed that he didn't want to listen; or, he was tired of his speech and it was a sign that he wanted the man to leave. Then, it could also mean that he realized that the man was right, but was ashamed of his actions and turned away to hide his face, afraid that even a bit of emotion could be seen on his features. Kakashi chose the second and the last possibility, and with that, just as lazily as before, strode to the door. He thought if he should walk out without stopping, to show that he didn't care about the teen; that he washed his hands off, but he realized that this would only lead to Sasuke believing that there was really nothing tying and holding him in this village, because he was completely alone. So Kakashi, trusting his feelings, stopped. He didn't say anything more, and didn't turn to look at the teen once more. He just stopped, facing the door. It was a sign, a hint, that if one of them wished to, he could stay. He was standing there for only few seconds, but he knew that Sasuke noticed. So with that, he opened the door and left.
In the courtyard of the Nara household, Inoichi and Shikaku sat by the small pool, where water-lilies were shining in the morning light, only slightly flowing on the water surface, surrounded by the bigger and smaller stones. Sitting cross legged, the jounin were in front of each other, as between them, was the small wooden table, where surprisingly, wasn't a board of shogi, but two bottles of sake. Shikaku wasn't in his battle gear; he had some black robe on, loose black pants, and fillet that kept his hairs up, it was white in color… The scarred man was deeply frowning, and his bottle was already half empty.
"…That's the basic story of it. And truthfully, I don't know what to do with this," Inoichi finished, thoughtfully gazing at the bottom of his cup. His blonde hairs lazily fell down and he sighed, tired.
"What there is to do with it, Inoichi? Itachi's dead, Danzou's dead, Tsunade's the active Hokage again, that Uchiha brat is still here, but God knows for how long, Naruto is fine, from what I hear around. There's nothing we should do about it. So what, if we know this and that… nobody needs that,"Shikaku gulped the remains of the drink in his cup,"you want to dig in the history? That's just troublesome,"He added, slowly and lazily pouring amother cup of sake.
"Well, maybe it is wise to change the history. At least, change people's opinion of Uchiha Itachi. He wasn't a murderer. Heck, he's an angel, compared to traitors of Orochimaru's calibre, or even, compared to Danzou and his machinations,"the blond jounin spoke and looked up; he saw his friend sigh.
"Itachi… wanted for his clan's name to be clean, from what I gathered. If you want to turn him into the angel, you'll have to turn the rest of the clan into… demons. Not really what the kid planned… And then, if you want to reveal these secrets, imagine what other nations will think, knowing who we made the Hokage, who we banished from the village and turned missing nin, and who we kill inside our own walls… The whole image of the leaf would be crushed. Do we really need that? No,"The man replied with a shake of his head,"Just forget it. We need to take our village out of these ruins, not dig in them,"
Inoichi closed his eyes in thought, and partly agreed with his friend, and partly did not.
The window was widely opened, and the morning light freely entered the room, falling softly on the floor, the bed, and the shelves, as its ends reached the door, where leaning, stood the pink haired medic, keeping her arms at her sides, and looking at her once love, teammate and goal. With the sad eyes she watched his thoughtful expression, as he sat on the bed and looked on the floor. He was clothed, healed, and nothing stopped him from leaving. But he was still here. Sure, he was ordered by Tsunade not to leave the walls of Konoha, and was observed by the squad of anbu, that was hiding outside of this room, but Sakura knew that if Sasuke wanted, he'd be already gone.
His face did not betray his emotions, his thoughts or intentions. Even with all the warm yellow light that surrounded them now, he was extremely pale, and his skin seemed to be cold at touch, even though it was only impression. And unlike the times before, she had no urge to come closer and embrace him, soothe him or speak kind words. She didn't know what she felt. She didn't even speak a word to him since entering. It was so unlike her. Previously, she would speak first, and wait for his response, even knowing that he may not answer. And now, she just didn't care. She wondered how much strength Naruto must have to still be sane. Sasuke has killed his friend, came to take his revenge on him, and now he sits here not even making a sound. Did he feel anything? Was he angry, felt remorse? Has he ever asked himself what he was doing?
He killed his own brother. He became nothing more than a murderer his brother has been. He wanted to be as strong as him, while in the end, he became nothing better. Just another killer. It was disgusting. And he dared to try and kill Naruto. The one person that was always with her, in her hardest times of need, in her times of happiness and suffering. They've been through a lot together, without Sasuke. Who stayed in their memories as a boy they called a friend, a boy they wanted to help, because he was lonely. And now, this person in front of her wasn't the boy she knew. Sasuke she remembered would never kill people just because he wanted and needed to. And he didn't just kill some bandits, but the Hokage, the anbu that protected him; and sadly, his own brother. She didn't know that Naruto became friends with the man, but she knew that Naruto could. And she knew, that if Naruto called someone a friend, that someone deserved it. So to her, Uchiha Itachi stopped being a murderer, but became a friend of Naruto, who was killed.
He knew who entered the room, but didn't look up. He didn't want to see her. Surprisingly, she didn't speak. He was somewhat grateful for this. He needed silence, to gather his chaotic thoughts, that didn't leave his mind.
His best and only friend and his only brother. Two opposites to each other. The killer, and the savior. The traitor and the loyal shinobi. The heartless machine, and the carefree peace lover. The black raven, and the orange toad, or… the fox. The pale, silver moon, and the warm, golden sun. What did they see in each other? How has Naruto realized that Itachi was innocent? He couldn't read people that well… And yet, he was the only one, Itachi couldn't fool…
And Itachi fooled everyone. He was such a good actor. He fooled him. And the blond, who met Itachi only the few times you could count on your hand, saw behind that mask. And he forgave Itachi. And he took care of Itachi. And he embraced him, and he gave him… love. He gave Itachi what he really, truly wanted.
He made Itachi happy. For once in his life, in his bloody existence, he felt happy. And it was Naruto.
Sasuke closed his eyes, trying to keep his emotions inside. "And I killed him," He took a deep shuddering breath in and gulped. He looked back on the floor and remembered the things Naruto said to him the day before yesterday. That he wasn't angry at the fact that Naruto loved Itachi, but was angry that he himself didn't love Itachi. That he himself never looked deeper, and never embraced him again.
And Naruto kept his promise. He never lied. He could kill him, easily. He could revel in the pleasure of humiliating, defeating and killing him, and he didn't. He stopped himself, because he made a promise. And that promise hurt him, but he was strong enough to keep it. And even if one day that promise will kill him, he will still keep it, stubbornly, as he always did. Leave it to the blond to give people the example of foolishness and nobility.
Sasuke blinked. He wanted to sigh, but Sakura would hear him. He frowned, wondering why she was still here.
"Where's Naruto,"He asked out of nowhere, and the girl tilted her head, puzzled.
"Who knows,"She started, and he looked up at her, questioningly,"No one saw him since the council meeting after the fight between you two,"She answered casually, but there was no warm smile on her face as it used to be. He frowned wondering where Naruto could go, and asked himself if he should go find him to see him. Maybe he should, he didn't have anything better to do, and his followers could wait some more; that will teach them patience. He stood up and turned to leave through the window.
"If you dare to touch him, Sasuke, I swear I will find you and kill you,"She said watching his back, and he stopped, only for a moment, to register her words. It wasn't anything he expected from her… Has the day come when she wanted to protect Naruto? It appears it has. They became so different… She wasn't the girl he remembered, smiling, laughing, and naïve. She became a woman, as strong as Tsunade now, and he wasn't a boy of her dreams anymore. And Naruto wasn't an idiot. He has learned a lot, and among the three of them, became the strongest. And their roles changed. Now it was Sakura, who was loyal to Naruto, and it was he, who was defeated.
He didn't respond, and jumped out, hoping to find the blond, what for… he didn't know yet…
Through the busy, rebuilding streets of the village, he walked for the full hour, but he hasn't found the ramen stand. He was convinced that would be the place where he could find the blond. But now, without a doubt it was destroyed, and they haven't rebuilt it yet. He asked one of the following him anbu where Naruto's apartment was, and after waiting for five minutes behind the door and checking the place through the window, he knew that Naruto wasn't there. He checked the Hokage temporary office, the Hokage Mountain, and even their old training grounds. And then, simply desperate, he checked the only sweet selling shop that was now in Konoha, the one he coincidentally walked by.
It smelled of… sweets. It was half empty, and he didn't see the blonde head inside. But by unknown feeling, he turned to the woman by the counter, and asked a simple question.
"Excuse me, miss, did you see Uzumaki Naruto here? A blond with… lines on his face?"She raised a brow and then nodded.
"He was here, yesterday,"She stated, and he quickly thanked her, before running out onto the street. He knew where he was. He should have known, after all, it wasn't just Naruto anymore. He liked not only salty stuff now, but sweets too. And there were more places he would go to…
The wide territory of the Uchiha district didn't exist anymore. Everything left were ruins. The builders and shinobi didn't get to this place yet, so it was still untouched. He grimaced at the picture and didn't know if he should be mad or grateful. On one side, it was his property, and it was utterly destroyed, and on the other side, he didn't like the empty streets anyway, so he was glad somebody finally got rid of it. Walking further through these ruins, he was surprised to find the main house untouched.
It was as if the force of what destroyed Konoha didn't reach it, and it stood in place, as always. He blinked at that and looking closely, found his blond friend on the steps leading to the house. He sat there thoughtfully, with his elbows on his knees and his hands with entwined fingers under his chin. He looked exactly like the day before, and Sasuke thought for a moment that he might spent the nights here. He put his thoughts at the back of his mind and strode to him, frowning at his resemblance to Itachi. And as if not seeing him, Naruto continued to stare ahead, and think.
A thinking Naruto, he thought that he will never see the day that happens, but again, he was wrong. The blond was serious, calm and wise at the moment. And Sasuke realized that the blond he knew didn't exist anymore, and the shinobi before him, one he had small chances to defeat, will forever stay like this, in Naruto's place. He stopped by him and stood, staring down at the blond and black mop of hairs. The lines on his cheeks, that were always there, got darker with time. The new ones, under his eyes, were somewhat lighter than Itachi's, but still they were there, and quite visible. He always wondered where they appeared from; he didn't recall anyone else from Uchiha clan having something like this.
It was only his brother, and he possessed them on his face like a mark, like a sign of being different. They made him seem older than he was, and even more serious. Now added to the bunch that already was on Naruto's face, it got interesting. The thin strands of black hairs on his head only made him look stranger. He was so much alike Itachi it was sickening. As if someone placed them both in one body, though, basically, that is how it was… Itachi… was still there. His soul, his heart and blood. Even… his habits. The way Naruto now moved, talked, sat and probably the way he ate. Everything was there. Just as Naruto said… "Is Itachi… happy now, somewhere, where he is? He's with Naruto now, forever… Is it making him happy? That is what he wanted, right?"
The blond looked up slightly, and noticed Sasuke's stare. There was no hatred or malice behind it, so he waited for Sasuke to say something. He could start the talk himself, but it seemed wrong. Sasuke came here himself, without being invited or called for, so he wanted something, and if he wanted something, he had to ask for it himself. Not be the coward…
The silence was unnerving, and Sasuke couldn't stand the blond's behavior. It was so unlike him, so surreal. Why was he quiet?
"Well, aren't you going to shout and tell me some stupid things to keep me here, in Konoha? Like you always do, when we meet?"he asked coldly, almost bored. The blond stared at him and then spoke.
"I thought about it,"He started, "And you know what? I think I kept my promise. What was it? 'I will bring Sasuke back to Konoha'? You're here Sasuke,"Naruto closed his eyes and raised his arms, stressing the words directing his hands at the Konoha around,"In your own house, even. From now on, I am not obliged to follow you. …Do whatever you want. Want my help with something? Fine. But overall, I wash my hands,"He waved his arms a bit, dismissively, and got back to thinking.
Shocked, Sasuke was quiet for several minutes, and processing that, realized that Naruto was right. He turned away, and his gaze traveled over the destruction around. Should he stay here…? Was it his home or did he lose it completely? Or found it somewhere else? The silence wasn't comfortable and he looked around again, keeping his gaze on the ruins. He frowned and decided to find an answer to the question that was bugging him for some time now. "How did that happen, exactly?"
Despite understanding what Sasuke was referring to, the blond frowned,"How what happened?"He asked in response, and watched as Sasuke had a slight twitch on his temple. Naruto was amused by that, but kept his face completely innocent.
"The destruction of Konoha," He bit his tongue before adding at the end 'what else?' not willing to hear the story behind the romance between his friend and his brother… what a nasty thing…
"Oh… that,"Mumbled the blond and remembered as he asked Konohamaru the same question, and the boy, for a whole hour was waving with his arms excitedly and animatedly describing the thing that happened,"You want the short version, or the long one?"He asked Sasuke and the teen raised a brow to that.
"Why, there is more than one?"He asked confused somewhat. The blond nodded and Sasuke blinked, and then he decided that he's smart enough to understand what happened from the short version, so he chose the first.
"It was 'Pain pushing the button',"Explained the blond and Sasuke frowned. After a minute of silence, Uchiha 'hnn'ed and asked.
"And the second version?"
The blond smirked knowingly and turned away, to look at the surroundings when he started to describe what happened,"I wasn't there when that happened, when I was back, it was already done. Konohamaru said that Pain was in the air, like, he was flying so far only Hyuuga could see him. And then he performed a single jutsu, and, like people say, 'pushed the damn button'. They named it so because it looked like he pressed his palms on something in the air, and a moment later, unimaginable force fell down on the village, as if crushing everything with invisible weight, which after, Konoha was no more,"
Sasuke blinked at that, blinked twice, and then slightly nodded; somewhat shocked that one shinobi could destroy the village with one technique, and that Naruto actually defeated someone as powerful as that Pain. He looked at the blond wondering how strong he truly was, and the blond stared back at him. They watched each other for quite long and strange moment, before Naruto raised his left hand, and beckoned him to get closer. Sasuke scowled at that, because these motions were done by Itachi only, and Naruto dared to behave like him. He had a twitch of an eye when the blond raised a brow at his grimaced expression, and not really wanting to offend his friend even more, Sasuke reluctantly stepped closer, and the blond raised his hand.
"Don't you even dare,"Sasuke threatened, realizing that Naruto wanted to do the damn fillip on his forehead. He glared as much as he could, and Naruto slightly pouted, before smirking and grabbing Sasuke's head and making him sit by him while his fist was playfully making a hole in Sasuke's head, effectively ruffling his hairs,"Let me go you damn bastard!"Sasuke attempted to sound intimidating, but all it did was make Naruto laugh. It made Sasuke even more embarrassed and when he was free, red as tomato, he 'hmph'ed, doing his best to fix his head with his hands. Between them formed the new silence, and Naruto got back to thinking, staring into nowhere. It irked Sasuke greatly and he had a twitch of an eye at that silent behavior.
"What are you thinking of?"He asked, tired of waiting for the blond to speak.
"Nothing,"The blond said, and continued to stare ahead. His eyes were narrowed, cold and almost glaring, and it caused a slight shiver to run up Sasuke's skin. He hoped it wasn't him Naruto was thinking of. If in that blonde head now was forming a plan of torture for anyone Sasuke hoped he wouldn't have to participate. With Itachi's abilities and Naruto's imagination and creativity, he doubted any result of their techniques would be pretty… He wondered how Naruto felt, being two people in one. Well, he had the fox in him, so he had some experience, but with Itachi it was probably different. Itachi was not a demon, but the man he loved. They've become one and Sasuke just couldn't comprehend how idea like this got in his brother's head… he must have been influenced by Naruto too much. The blond was like disease, making everyone he comes in contact with good people. He didn't even have to make jutsu for this... him talking and sitting by you was enough. Like a damn bloodline. Sasuke scowled at that thought and turned away. Noticing it, Naruto raised a brow and looked at him asking.
Sasuke sighed and kept his head turned away,"You,"The blond looked at him quizzically, and Sasuke glared,"Stop behaving like Itachi,"
Naruto tilted his head,"I can't,"At which Sasuke at first grimaced disdainfully, and then slumped, defeated. He loudly sighed and shook his head, and then stood up. He looked around, and then behind, at the house. Curious, he slowly walked in and looked around the place. He frowned at the amount of the dirt. Then he entered his room. It was the same as he left. Not touched in the slightest. He almost sneezed but put the forefinger over his nose and rubbed it, to prevent that embarrassing thing from happening. He got back to the entrance and stopped by the blond, directing his gaze at the surroundings too.
"My room's all dusted,"He mumbled to himself, crossing his arms, and at that, Naruto 'hnn'ed. Sasuke shut his eyes angered and turned to him sharply.
"Stop it!"The blond turned to him not understanding, and Sasuke raised his right palm and covered his face,"Just… stop doing it,"He muttered in his hand, and Naruto frowned.
"You must realize I can't help it, Sasuke,"he stated, and Sasuke was convinced even more that the blond did all of this on purpose,"By the way, what are we going to do with all of it?"He asked pointing at the ruins that were a bit farther, and what was left of other houses of Uchiha district.
"This is not your business, Uzumaki,"Sasuke stressed, trying to remind his friend that he wasn't an Uchiha. The blond just smirked and his hands were again under his chin.
"If I really wanted to, I could've become a head of the Uchiha clan easily, after all, I am Uchiha Itachi, even though I am Uzumaki Naruto,"He muttered, and Sasuke widened his eyes, as realization hit him. Naruto could do this, and not only he could, but Tsunade would without a doubt help him,"But, as it is, I don't really want to,"The blond added, and Sasuke stared at him, stunned. "Ah, if you don't want to stay in your 'dusted' room, you can stay in my apartment, for now,"He finished, and Sasuke, unable to control his collected behavior, raised his arms in the air and stared at the heavens, as if asking what for he was doomed with the blond.
The wind blew softly, picking up the dust off the road slightly, and making it stay in the air for a moment, before it settled. The sound of the opening gates filled the silence and a person standing by the entrance turned around. Suigetsu grinned, his sharp and pointy teeth shining, and it was his moment to say goodbye.
"Don't look so grim, Sasuke. I may visit you later or something,"He said and the mentioned teen looked away. Karin and Juugo waved with their hands, and he turned around, leaving Konoha.
Karin and Juugo decided to stay with Sasuke for now, as they didn't have where to go, and Konoha didn't seem like a bad place to stay. Sasuke said that he doesn't plan on staying here for too long, but they knew that he didn't plan to leave soon either. He repeated that he is going to stay here only to wait for Madara, because he knew he will come after the blond, but it really only looked like he was just looking for a reason to stay. They took off their Akatsuki cloaks, and were ready to put on the headbands. Suigetsu left because he still planned to find and fight other swordsmen, but traveling to nowhere was a bad idea, at least for Karin, so she traveled with Sasuke because he was… cute.
The black haired teen turned and started to walk back to Hokage office, where he had to meet with his former team and the council. His followers walked by him, and Karin discreetly glanced at Sasuke's face, looking for the boy she saw yesterday, when she observed his interaction with his friend, in the ruins of Uchiha district. They may not know she was there, but she was glad she saw the real Sasuke; also, she was intrigued with his friend…
…"let it go, Sasuke,"
"I will let go when you stop behaving like my brother!"shouted Sasuke, pacing in front of his sitting friend.
"But I am your brother,"the blond replied tiredly.
"No you're not!"
"I am Itachi, even though you killed me, now shut up and leave that topic!"
"I didn't kill you! I killed Itachi!"
"But I fucking remember it!"The blond said in a hoarse voice.
Sasuke stopped in his tracks frozen, and then stared at him surprised and stunned,"…what…?"
"I remember you killing him!"Naruto said loudly and his lips trembled, and he covered his face with his hands, shaking. Sasuke stared down at him, shocked. He looked away and almost fell when for a moment his body got numb. He stilled himself and clenched his hands into fists. He couldn't look at Naruto because he was so much alike Itachi. He knew he killed his brother, he knew, he hated himself for it, and he knew, it pained Naruto, and it also pained him…but Naruto…
He gulped and could cry now of suffering. And he could cry of happiness, because while Itachi was dead, he was still here. And maybe finally he could touch him and speak to him. And he could finally embrace him, and forgive him. And admit to himself, that he loved him, and needed him. He hated himself for being blind, when these eyes had to see everything.
He could curse himself and his actions, but it wouldn't help… He devoted, and wasted half of his life to kill the man who was his closest family, his only brother, the man he loved, and looked up to. And when it was finally over, he died with him. Only to continue his existence with no true purpose, or real reason. And taking that life he took the reason from someone else, who was close to him too. And who knew him probably better, than he himself ever did.
He was ready to curse the clan for the pride it possessed, because that pride was a reason he and Itachi existed for. Itachi taking the wrongs of the clan on himself, while Sasuke living to kill him and 'clean' the name of that clan with his brother's blood, was all they had. If Itachi just thought of himself then, if he just spat on the name they had and stayed within the village, they would still be together, and maybe he and Naruto would still find each other… But all this time, Itachi was selfless, and lived to realize his plans. He was selfish only once, when he wanted to stay with Naruto, and it was the only thing he did for himself. So what if Uchiha clan was innocent, Uchiha Itachi was a monster and Sasuke is a hero…? Who needs that when everything's gone?
He closed his eyes and gulped, he had to gather himself. He had to force himself to control his emotions. He heard a muffled sob and opened his eyes to look at his friend, who shook, hiding his face behind his palms. Sasuke's breath hitched, and after a moment of hesitation he made a step forward, groggily. Then he made another step, and one more, trembling too. He stopped at Naruto's legs, looking at the mop of blonde and black hairs. He placed his hand on the blond's shoulder and squeezed it.
"…I'm sorry…"he whispered quietly, stopping a tear from escaping his eye,"…I'm sorry…"he repeated, closing his eyes again,"…I'm …"
"…I hate you… I hate you because… you took Itachi from me… and…sob…I love you… because you're… sob… my freaking brother… Sasuke… how… am I… supposed to live… with it… just… tell me… how…"
The black haired teen slumped on his knees and his hands touched the knees of the blond, squeezing them. He hid his face in them, as he had no strength to stop the tears that began to cover it mercilessly. He didn't know what to do, what to say, just to stop the pain,"…I am sorry… I… am sorry…"he continued to whisper out, because it was all he could do.
"… I know he… wanted you to… kill him… but I… don't care…I just can't… forgive you…Sasuke…"the blond said in a high, pained voice, and Sasuke's hands grabbed his mesh shirt, to which, Naruto stiffly uncovered his wet face and pulled Sasuke's head to his chest, firmly pressing him closer in a pained embrace, as they cried together, lost in love and hate they shared.
Some time later
Tsunade rummaged in the shelf, frowning at its contents. She straightened and the corner of her lower lip deformed, when she blew up at her fringe that was supposed to frame her face, not tickle it. She stood with her hands on her hips, glaring down at her desk, and then she opened another shelf and started to rummage there.
Sai, Tenzou and Naruto stood in front of her desk waiting for her to find whatever she was looking for, and they exchanged looks time after time, as it was already half an hour since she summoned them. Sai didn't know which expression was right in this situation, so he tried to merge the smile, the pout, the surprise and the tiredness at the same time, resulting in him sporting a strange grimace, seeing which Tenzou cringed and looked away, heavily sweat dropping at the scene of Hokage embarrassing herself in front of her subordinates with her lack of knowledge and memory about her own documents in her own office. Naruto tried to be stoic for the first ten minutes, but now the twitch of an eye he had for the last twenty minutes turned into the red pulsing temple, which unnerved Tenzou even more, since he prepared himself to hear shouts and complains from the blond that used to be his reaction, while the twitching meant that he held everything in and now was ready to explode.
"A-HA!"The blonde woman shouted in a victory, grabbing the average in size scroll and raising it in the air. The trio was taken aback with her display of emotions but then, actually happy with her accomplishment, loudly sighed, relaxing. She grinned and gracefully sat in her chair, while shinobi observed her actions. They stared at the scroll and sweatdropped, wondering why instead of asking them to find it she wasted half an hour for searching it herself… She opened it and started to read, making the summoned shinobi grimace at her for ignoring them completely. She hummed skipping the large part of the text and running with her eyes along the lines. Then she started to rummage in another shelf at her left and looked up, feeling the temperature rise to uncomfortable level. Her gaze was met with the heated, red and spinning glare from Naruto, which effectively shook her and she sheepishly smiled, before she coughed in her hand, to gather everyone's attention and soothe the tension that Naruto created.
"As you already know, under his command, Danzou had a group of ninja, called Root. There are about eighty operatives, well trained and prepared for any missions. They are now under my command, but they need someone who will organize them, and that job is for you, Tenzou,"She started, and the jounin nodded. Then she turned to Sai,"You know the system of their training personally, so you'll help Tenzou if he has any questions, and then, you'll help Naruto,"She said and turned to the blond who raised a brow. She smirked and leaned back in her chair, crossing her arms,"I know it may sound stupid but I want you to prepare a program of rehabilitation for the young 'roots' that became members of the group not too long ago. There are thirty four of them, and I believe that if you helped Sai become human again, you could help them too, that's just your gift, Naruto,"she finished and the blond rolled his eyes. She put the scroll on her desk for Tenzou to take,"Here you have all the details. You may start now," She added. They nodded and turned to leave,"Naruto,"she called the blond before he disappeared behind the door.
She scowled at him responding"Call me Tsunade-chan at least; Tsunade sounds weird on your lips, Naruto!"
"Fine, fine,"He mumbled raising his hands, ready for her to throw something at him.
She sighed closing her eyes and fell silent, to which he frowned and tilted his head. Looking up, she asked"You want to tell me anything, Naruto?"
She didn't want him to have secrets from her, and was scared of him distancing himself from her and his friends. Even though it seemed that he was just the same, the fact that there were awfully important things he kept to himself unnerved and unsettled her. She knew it was just another proof that he could become a great Hokage, after all, keeping secrets from people who trust you is no small feat, and Sarutobi and Jiraya were the only shinobi she knew who could do that. Naruto possessing such a skill did not surprise her, but she didn't want to be one of those many people he fools with that ability. But then again, he already had secrets from her, and nothing stopped him from doing that still. He was becoming an enigma, which you believe to understand, until he surprises you again…
"What are you talking about, Tsunade-chan? You know more than anyone,"He replied confused, and then he added "You will always do," before leaving her office with the smile and the words that were once spoken by her teammate, and she knew, and believed that even if she didn't know everything, she will still know more than anyone else…
The blond walked out of the office and strode down the stairs. He stopped when he saw the pink hair in the corridor, and followed his teammate, watching as she carried enormous pile of papers. She entered some room and he eavesdropped.
"…here you go. I'll get more in a minute,"And she walked out, probably to collect more documents. He walked to that room, hearing the familiar grunt in response to the girl, and curious, peeked inside. There, by the desk hidden under the weight of piles of papers, sat Sasuke, in simple blue shirt with long sleeves and black pants, that he had to put on to change his image of Orochimaru's student; glaring at his work with so much hatred that the blond was ready to believe he will use Amaterasu to get rid of it.
"Complaining about the job, Sasuke?"He asked with a smirk, and Uchiha turned his glare at him, attacking the blond with his reaction to boredom, humiliation and paperwork with his eyes, "Hnn, you must be really stupid," Continued Naruto and his friend narrowed his eyes at that insult, "Really, just make a clone and come with me, we'll go meet with the bunch of brooders like you,"
To this Sasuke frowned at first but then had his eyes impossibly widened; he looked down at the desk and rolled his eyes, covering his face with his left hand, which was the motion Naruto interpreted as 'damn, I really am an idiot.' Then Sasuke quickly made a hand seal and three more identical Uchiha appeared by him. All three of them glared at their maker and then at the documents on the table. The blond raised a brow at it and muttered.
"One clone would be enough to deal with the paperwork and fool the coworkers. Well, you can make the second… go on the date with Sakura" here Sasuke had a twitch of an eye at this suggestion and Naruto hid his amusement," …or something… and make the third go clean up the house..," He spoke knowingly and saw the scowl on Sasuke's face. Then he shrugged and added "All right, all right, come on let's go," And turned to leave. Sasuke followed him confused about their destination and didn't see one of the clones scratch his nose in a wonder and then look out of the room in search of pinky… mumbling something along the lines of "Anything's better than paperwork…"
The second clone wondered out loud "Damn, I think I'll go clean that house… It's more useful than sitting here like an idiot…"And he turned to jump through the window. Both of the clones disappeared, and the third one, the slowest of the three, looked left, then he looked right and then down on the pile of unfinished paperwork and grimaced like it was a shit. He almost raised his hands in front of him to protect himself from it but remembered then that he was a damn shinobi and paperwork wouldn't kill him, though, it definitely could…
He loudly sighed and muttered under his breath"…fucking traitors…"
He woke up to the blinding light, and frowned, while carefully opening his eyelids looking around. He was in the room with an opened window, and the white curtain over it was shifting in the wind, as the sweet and peaceful silence enveloped the room. The white walls were lightened by the blinding light from outside and he blinked, seeing two headbands on the shelf.
They were black, and metal plates had the symbol of the leaf, as both of them were entwined, gracefully laying there, and waiting to be picked up and tied… A moment later he widened his eyes and shocked, slowly turned on his other side, to come face to face with… Itachi. He was watching the blond silently, as his head was resting on the pillow, and his dark, black eyes, were showing emotion of happiness, as it was accompanied by the slight smile that graced his features. Slowly, the blond laid on his side to face him, and pressed his hands to the man's chest.
"You're still here,"He whispered, and blinked, as he felt that he woudn't be able to stop the tears from falling. He didn't think that Itachi would still be here, and he knew he will miss him greatly, once the man leaves.
"Of course I am here. I will always be," The man whispered back, smiling a bit wider. Itachi rose slightly, and kissed the blond's shoulder, "I love you, Naruto,"He breathed out and a moment later heard a quiet sob. Confused, he looked down at Naruto's face and saw the pained expression.
He frowned and asked,"What's wrong?"But the teen just shook his head and sobbing quietly, pressed himself closer to the man. Itachi thought that maybe Naruto did not believe him, or didn't expect to hear these words. Or maybe, he always thought that he will never hear them, because there couldn't be anyone who would love him.
He embraced the blond tightly, and made sure his lips were close to Naruto's ear. He smiled a bit, and whispered,"I love you,"And then he gently kissed the Naruto's cheek, catching the tears with his lips. The teen slightly trembled in his embrace. "I love you," Itachi said and pressed his lips to the eyelids, gently kissing them too, and then he nuzzled the teen's neck, continuing to whisper"I love you… Naruto…"
End of chapter 4
OMAKE "When someone called Itachi a pervert,"
"What, me? No, I am not a pervert. No, it's not my fault; blame Akatsuki, especially its leader, Pain,"
"Huh? Me, a pervert? You're kidding… Eh? My bodies? WHAT?! It's not me! Sasori started it! He and his damned puppets!"
"My… puppets…? It does not mean anything. If there is any pervert, that would be Deidara. Look at his hands… he has tongues there,"
"What about my hands, un? What it has to do with pervertism, UN!? If you're looking for a perv', then ask Kisame, he's the blue one!"
"Huh?! The fuck are you implying, blonde?! The fuck, my… my freaking COLOR has nothing to do with it, you got that?! The only pervert here is Zetsu! He has TWO freaking bodies in one! OMG! You… were doing it all the time… right in front of our eyes?!..,"
"Eh? Why me? I am not a pervert. Of course I am! No I am not. Sure I am! Shut the fuck up! It wasn't me!"
In that moment Kakuzu and Hidan walked into the cave, and with confused looks, they stared at the other members, who looked at them somewhat strangely accusingly. Frozen, Kakuzu quietly spoke
"I think we came in a wrong time,"
"What the fuck these stares suppose to mean?!" Hidan shouted, riled up per usual.
"Shut up, Hidan, don't provoke them,"whispered Kakuzu, frowning. Hidan took a closer look and indeed, the stares were too promising.
"Holy SHIT; Jashin-sama, give me the fucking patience!"
Kakuzu looked to the left, then he looked to the right with his green eyes, and then he raised his hands in a placating manner,"Calm down, we're not here. What you see is just an illusion, which was created by Itachi and his sharingan; we will make a step back, there will be a puff of smoke and illusion will disappear. We were never here, and you didn't see us," He spoke carefully and both he and Hidan made a step back and… disappeared in a puff of smoke… that was created by their feet, when they rushed out of the cave as quickly as humanly, or in their case, inhumanly possible.
All stares were directed at Zetsu again.
"What? Don't look at me! That was Konan, she's the pervert!"
In stepped a beautiful woman in Akatsuki cloak. She was confused with the looks of men directed at her,"Uh... is something wrong…? Did I do something… nasty…?" To somehow break the tension in the air, she pulled a blue paper bouquet out of her sleeve,"Ehm…Want a flower?"
"IT WAS HER!"All the members shouted and directed their forefingers at the woman, "She's the perverted one!"
"NO-O-O-O!"She shouted back, "It's not my fault! It was Jiraiya-sensei!"She admitted, and Pain, who stood by her, nodded, adding
"Actually, it is true…"
Kisame tilted his head asking Itachi
"Who the hell is that?"
"The biggest pervert in the Fire country. He writes good books, actually; with the nice instructions… Though… you'd need a lot of agility to manage most of those…"
Kisame turned his head to look at him and stared stupefied.
"…. Itachi…. You are a pervert…"
A.N. I was serious when I said that the story is over...
About the first scene (the battle), it was the first ever battle I wrote, so please forgive me if it wasn't as flashy, and as amazing as you imagined... I suck at this stuff, that's why I avoid writing it, my writing style is rather emotion-based.
About the last scene (between Itachi and Naruto), I know you may be confused about it, and you're supposed to be)))) It was just a scene, you may think that it was the flashback, or that it was a dream Naruto had one of those nights when he was lonely and missed Itachi, or you can think that it was some kind of future, where Naruto managed to bring him back or something... just... 'unleash your imagination'. In my opinion, there's no point in continuing this story, because logically, you know what it will be like: Naruto and Sasuke both fight Madara and win in the end... nothing that could add anything to the story between Itachi and Naruto...
About Uchihas as the whole: Itachi said that his favorite color is black, while in reality, he liked white; Sasuke tries to convince himself that what happened between his brother and Naruto was a 'nasty thing' while in reality, he knows it was... 'love'...? Yeah...
Now, you may say three magic words: 'I hated it' or 'I loved it' or 'I hate you' (I understand and forgive you). Whatever you say, don't be shy. I also respond to any questions... so you're welcome to express your feelings, opinion or whatever...