AN: I finally got an idea to write an ItaNaru story about! :D I'm so happy! This story is a bit different than what I write and I hope it turns out to be entertaining. I'm not all too familiar with Itachi's character or actually "my" Itachi which I hope stays somewhere close to in-character. So if Itachi seems a bit OC, my fault! Then again who can really convey Itachi perfectly? Only Kishimoto-sensei can.

Warnings: AU, OC, future Lemons, eventual Yaoi, ItaNaru

Ages:

Itachi – 20

Naruto – 16

Summary: Itachi has no aspirations. He finds remedy on the countryside only to counter demons of the past and a young man, Naruto, who might be the key to his resolve.

Chapter 1:

Coming Home

Noises erupted from every crevice of a lively train station that bustled with travelers or those retuning home. Anyone would have an overwhelming reaction as families reunited after years on foreign soil crafted a perfect Hallmark moment or separated lovers met by the strings of fate. All this managed to rouse a smile on even the toughest of men but Uchiha Itachi hardly paid any heed to such "heartwarming" details. He stood composed, astute, and with an expression of absolute patience as he waited for the arrival of his train. Had his mother not also accompanied him, there would be no movements from the young man or even words for that matter.

"Oh, Itachi, how I wish I could go to Konoha with you!" An elegant older yet full of youth, woman exclaimed while smoothing out the wrinkles of her son's casual stripped crimson and black flannel shirt. Itachi displayed no affection towards his mother's worries but allowed her to continue her ministrations.

"Mother, the length of my departure is merely for a few months," Itachi answered calmly reassuring his mother from adding more anxiety to her agenda. Uchiha Mikoto tugged playfully on the collar of his shirt with a soft warm smile contributing to her graceful beauty.

"You ask the impossible from me, Itachi. How can I not worry for my son? I am well aware this trip may serve some purpose for you which is my only reason for letting your father send you away," Mikoto said in a sing-song tone but managed to add a hint of seriousness. Itachi comprehended her cause for taking precautions such as packing all his items or personally seeing him off, a man now. He endured her caring gestures and when necessary, he lightly returned a coded gesture.

"Father proves a valid point. I've no reason to ensue an argument over traveling arrangements," Itachi said placidly earning a pout from his mother. His demeanor never failed to remain composed and supplied sufficing answers. His mother sighed shaking her head in defeat.

"What am I to do with you, Itachi? Is there no way for me to break that mask? Visiting my cousin in Konoha may do some good for you. Just behave," Uchiha Mikoto replied fixing the collar of her son though there was merely an act of impulse than actual need.

"I cause no trouble seeing that mischief brings no fortune," Itachi answered placing his hand over his mother's small slender soft hands. "Stop worrying about me." Mikoto gave him a weak smile in response patting his hand with her other free hand.

"I have such a handsome and charming son. Its miracle there is no secret girlfriends or even grandchild for that matter. Oh! There's your train!" Mikoto removed her hand to point at an arriving locomotive. Itachi watched the train pull up and the steam clouding the sky.

"Mother, I enjoy your flattering comments, but I will miss my transportation," Itachi said trying to detach himself from his clinging mother.

"I find myself unable to let go. Funny, I'm still scared although that was in the past. Promise you'll call once you arrive?" Mikoto's onyx eyes watered tearfully yet she kept her tears at bay. Itachi's intense gaze softened slightly and placed a hand on his mother's frail shoulder.

"Nothing like that will happen again. I assure you. I'll call once I arrive," Itachi reassured her using a soothing tone for some form of comfort for his distressed mother. Reluctantly, Mikoto released his firm grasp nodding in agreement and apologizing for acting out.

"Itachi, you may have boundless intelligence but without any passion or motivation then you may reach only to a certain point before tumbling back down. I hope you aren't angered for us sending you away." Mikoto ran her hand through a silky long black ponytail. Itachi merely nodded but not entirely in agreement.

"I have no repugnance towards Father or you. I accepted this arrangement because I see my flaws that must be corrected in order to succeed," Itachi answered as both of them walked towards the entrance of his compartment.

Mikoto let out an exasperated sigh while patting her son on the back. "Stop being so hard on yourself. Lighten up your formality a bit or you'll confuse those who try to befriend you."

"I always speak in this manner." Itachi protested as he saw no other way to freely express his thoughts. Words had to be carefully chosen for creating the right impact to whatever conversation you were engaged in. Socializing wasn't his favorite pastime which is the sole reason when he spoke everything was precise and to the point.

"Never mind, honey. Get on the train before I have a change of heart and drag you back home," Mikoto warned a playful smile forming on pink lips that now pressed into a tight line. Itachi reached the entrance of the compartment waiting patiently for the conductor to ask for his ticket as the man attended other passengers.

"Good-bye," Itachi said bowing when the conductor motioned him for him to take his seat. Mikoto grimaced at the words as if they brought unpleasant memories.

"I dislike saying 'good-bye'….almost like we won't see each other again. It's 'See you later', silly." Itachi's eyes widened slightly as he was taken aback his mother's statement. He could feel the set impassive face of his break into a smile no one but his mother would be able to distinguish.

"See you later," Itachi said then disappeared behind the compartment doors. Before he entered, he saw his mother smile. He passed the light crowd of passengers who debated which seat they should take or young passengers that roamed the halls screaming at the top of their lungs. The interior of his compartment wasn't first class material but neither was it rubbish for him to think himself unfortunate to travel for the next few hours. Itachi finally decided taking a comfortable seat by the window near the back of his compartment.

"Itachi!" His onyx eyes scanned the sea of heads lined outside the train. Automatically he spotted his mother waving with a gentle and relaxing smile settled on her youthful features. On instinct anyone would have waved back but this wasn't in Itachi's persona. A nod of acknowledgement sufficed for his mother who understood his quirks for socializing.

A loud whistle indicated the train's departure. The sea of heads grew larger as more were added by the second for last minute good-byes for their friends or families. Waves, and more waves and then the train started moving forward pulling away Itachi from his bustling city to a different world. Soon his mother was no more than a blurred figure then she was out of site. Itachi rested his back against the cushioned seat and settled entertaining himself by gazing outside to view the scenery. This lasted an hour or so before the young man's wandered to reason why he was on a train traveling to a remote village called Konoha.

Uchiha Itachi, 20 years-old, a prodigy student, pride of the family, and promising heir for Head of Criminal Justice, he excelled in any task given to him without a struggle. People claimed him to be a gifted child and whatnot as Itachi possessed intelligence, charisma, charm, and everything that classified Itachi as a "perfect" individual but he lacked motivation. His parents were proud of him but they weren't satisfied though he excelled at whatever challenged was cast his way, Itachi held no will of fire. Unless he found a reason "to live" as his father described motivation, then Itachi could not inherit the family business. This was the sole reason he boarded a train and was on his way to Konoha. To inherit the will of fire. Wonderful.

Itachi tired of the scenery and pulled out a book from his traveling pack. He read without being disturbed by the noise all around him. No one came to bother him either as most tended to do. It was mostly due to his appearance but he would kindly end the conversation. After a few hours, Itachi felt a cool breeze fill the compartment and the colors of autumn attracted the attention of most of the passengers as they stared out the window in awe. Itachi wasn't new to such spectacular scenery but it had been years since he had been in Konoha and the scene mesmerized him.

Before any of them received a chance to witness the sparkling lake up ahead, the train started to slow down as it arrived at the rendezvous. The conductor's voice vibrated against the walls of the compartment as he asked everyone to gather their belongings and exit the train swiftly but carefully. Itachi placed his book in his pack before grabbing for his other luggage and patiently waiting for his turn to exit off the train. Many people were excited as they exclaimed the beauty of Konoha during the fall truly was breathtaking. The raven kept an eye out for his mother's cousin who is supposed to be there to pick him up from the train station. Itachi hoped the man would appear soon because many villagers were starting to grow interested in him. The last thing he wanted was a swarm of people asking him if he belonged to a model agency or was an actor.

"Itachi-kun!" The swarm of fangirls sounded better than a grown man waving madly with his mouth and nose covered with a medical mask. The kind you wore to stop the spread of infection. He stood next to the raven with his eyes wrinkled in what appeared a smile. "Wow, you've grown. Last time I saw you, you were begging me to play with you on the swings," said the silver haired man with a soft laugh.

Itachi's eyebrow twitched. "Kakashi-san, please do keep your nostalgia to yourself and not open to the public." This was just one of the reasons why he had been reluctant to come back to Konoha. Kakashi enjoyed unmasking his weaknesses. A grin etched on the older man's face or so his eyes indicated that behind his mask was a grin.

"Composed and emotionless as ever I see," Kakashi said placing his hands into a pocket almost as if he was stopping himself from taking something out of them. "Mikoto-chan has yet to loosen you up. How is my favorite cousin doing?" Kakashi asked forming a casual conversation while he motioned Itachi to walk with him.

"My mother is doing well. She has taken up the simple pleasures of gardening," Itachi answered calmly. Kakashi nodded smiling for he knew the raven haired man wasn't one for showing any affection and neither was he. Just small talk sufficed to demonstrate both were struck by nostalgia of their younger days.

"That's good for Mikoto-chan. How is your father?" Kakashi and Itachi bustled through a small crowd making their way to a parking lot.

"He is also doing well. He's a busy man as always," Itachi was growing tired of these questions. Kakashi smiled again offering him to take the passenger seat of an old Volvo.

"Of course Fugaku-san is always busy. How about you? Any interesting facts I should know about? A girlfriend?" Kakashi poked more into his life slowly getting Itachi to speak more than he was accustomed to.

"I'm here and soon will take on my father's role. There's no need to ask when you know me all too well. No girls, they're bothersome," Itachi said dumping his luggage to the backseat.

"Oh…that's interesting to know. Well you know Konoha will be a good way to get a smile on that stone face of yours. There are some intriguing people here," Kakashi stated starting the engine and exiting the train station to take a road of dirt and not pavement. Itachi soon saw the array of fall colors: red, orange, yellow, and brown blinding him. Kakashi rambled to himself about a new book he started reading and recommending Itachi should read it should he get "lonely." Itachi had little to say over this matter. Kakashi drove under a canopy of trees and up gravel roads and across the great bridge where Itachi had countless times ridden his bike across as a child. Itachi watched the dark blue water of the lake lap lazily against the shore where ships of all kind were stationed.

"Hasn't changed much has it?" Kakashi remarked when he noticed the raven entranced by familiar sceneries. Itachi said nothing and for the rest of the ride neither of them spoke. Kakashi wasn't rich per se but he wasn't poor either. Rather the silver haired man enjoyed the simple pleasures life had to offer. Kakashi owned a home on top of a hill where you could stand outside on the edge for hours staring at the lake and the village under you. It was a two story home painted the purest of white. Itachi remembered liking to visit Kakashi's home.

"Ah, we're home. You don't mind if I have company over?" Kakashi asked when he turned off the ignition already getting out of the car.

"No," Itachi responded gathering his belongings before following an all too excited Kakashi. One, thing about Kakashi you must always know: he never got excited unless he was screwing someone. Itachi could only imagine who "company" was. He had no complaints though. The way his distant relative lived his life wasn't for him to judge.

"Good because we have a few people joining us for dinner. It's the birthday of a grandson of a friend of mine and he requested we hold the celebration here. Iruka is simply going crazy with making food and getting this and that ready. Try to be nice Ita-chan," Kakashi said waving his hand in the air to dismiss the glare Itachi threw at him when he heard his pet name.

Itachi followed him towards the front steps knowing Kakashi never locked his door. There was no need to lock your door in Konoha. The sweet aroma of food filled his nostrils, the warmth invited him in, familiar stairs came into view along with family photos, and doors and halls he once roamed about as a child. There came the lively noises of pots clanging together, water boiling, someone cursing, and screams of a woman. This must be Kakashi's "company."

"We're back!" Kakashi called into the hall. Itachi wanted no attention towards them but there was no escape when a blond woman peered out from the kitchen door.

"About time! Tell your lover I have every right to play a nice game of poker tonight!" the woman spoke in a loud tone taking no notice of Itachi. Kakashi chuckled nervously.

"Tsunade-san, gambling is a bad habit to be teaching your grandson. Besides I have a guest of honor," Kakashi replied pointing at Itachi. Honey colored eyes analyzed him carefully. Itachi wasn't intimated but the woman was young or appeared to be youthful but there was an air around her of authority.

"You must be the oldest Uchiha brat. This is good….there's a worthy opponent to challenge tonight," the woman smiled and a tan head appeared behind her.

"Tsunade-sama please stop gambling! Your grandson's future depends on the money you have!" the man with a scar on his nose protested earning another nervous chuckle form Kakashi.

Itachi wasn't sure what was going on anymore. The woman, Tsunade, had just challenged him in a duel that involved gambling and the man with the scar wasn't all for it. Apparently Tsunade knew him from somewhere but Itachi couldn't recall ever meeting the woman to begin with. Luckily, Kakashi came to his rescue. "Let him breathe, guys. Itachi just traveled on a train for hours to get here. Let him settle down first then bother him as much as you want, he has nothing to do anyway," Kakashi said smiling again. Itachi took back the "rescue" part. The scar guy sighed with relief and gave Itachi a warm smile.

"I'm Iruka, hope my food will make you feel right at home," the man with the scar said coming forward to shake Itachi's hand. Itachi nodded grasping the tan hand but with no smile.

"Smells good," Itachi stated earning a blush from the shorter man.

"My cooking skills aren't that great, truth be told. Kakashi insisted and Tsunade-san's grandson insisted I cook so here I am. Oh, sorry I'll stop rambling now, you must be tired," Iruka bowed politely again blushing. Itachi noted how Iruka dropped a honorific for Kakashi. "Company" eh?

"No need to apologize. I'll come back down and help," Itachi offered seeing he had nothing to do. Waiting in a room the rest of the time until the rest of the guests arrived sounded unappealing to him. Iruka scratched the back of his head a hint of nervousness clinging to him.

"Oh no, please don't bother exerting yourself! I'll take care of all the preparations. Kakashi has finished wrapping gifts already and Tsunade-san insisted she help with cooking but that didn't turn out too well…." Iruka had no chance to take back his words because he heard the crackling of knuckles behind him.

"I want to cook for my grandson. I bet he would enjoy my meal more than yours," Tsunade proclaimed. Kakashi came between the two laughing.

"Tsunade-san please sit, you have had too much sake to drink," Kakashi led her to a chair for the woman to collapse in. She sighed heavily a rosy glow spreading to her cheeks. She was indeed a bit tipsy. 'Go on upstairs,' Kakashi mouthed winking. Itachi was more than relieved to leave three lively grown adults. What happened to the adults are mature concept?

Itachi carried his belongings and his feet caused the wood to creak under his feet. The foot of the stairs greeted him as if saying 'Welcome back' and he ascended upstairs to be greeted by more family photos. They were of Kakashi and his father going fishing or Kakashi surrounded by a group of friends in his high school years. Then of his mother when she was younger trying to take off Kakashi's mask, then his family, and so it went until he reached a certain photo. It was an Uchiha reunion party as he recalled. Kakashi was next to his mother pinching her cheek, his father made an effort to smile at least, a 10-year old Itachi demonstrated his sparkly white teeth while he ruffled the hair of his younger brother, Sasuke who had been 6 at the time. Sasuke…his little brother. Itachi stood there for what seemed like hours staring at the picture remembering the past.

A scream snapped him back to reality and alerted him but laughs followed so he figured the adults were having some fun downstairs. 'It's all in your head,' Itachi thought moving along until he reached the bedrooms upstairs. The biggest room of course belonged to Kakashi and was on the far left and the guest room where Itachi and Sasuke had stayed giggling over silly stories was on the right. Itachi grasped the brass handle before opening the white painted door. The room was flooded with rays of sunlight. Two beds were on each side of opposite walls where Itachi had once slept. Toys that once inhabited shelves and a desk were gone as well as any traces that children once had stayed here – it was empty. Itachi settled in dumping his luggage on the bed that had once been his.

Itachi unpacked placing clothes in hangers and then putting them away in a closet that once bustled with children's clothing and small shoes. Shoes he brought were stored away in the closet and as for his personal entertainment which was mostly books and his laptop he settled the books on empty shelves and laptop on the desk. Itachi liked organization and even when he had assorted his items to his liking, the room lacked life. The bed empty next his was proof of that. 'Sasuke…' The air in the room was escaping or something because Itachi was starting to have some trouble breathing. He needed to get out for a while. Out of the house if possible. He didn't need permission from Kakashi since he was an adult now.

Itachi left the rest of the contents laying on his bed before quietly slipping downstairs and away from the group of excited adults. Cool air hit his lungs and he felt the oxygen coming back to him. All he needed was a quick walk. The leaves danced with wind and Itachi decided to head down the hill and admire the scenery. The path made of mostly dirt felt soft under his feet and Itachi kept walking as each step he took the more he forgot. Instead now he turned his walk into a distraction until Kakashi and his gang calmed a bit. He had no rush as he had no clue who this grandson of the woman Tsunade was.

Itachi watched boats travel around the lake for a leisure moment of relaxation. His father had owned a variety of boats and each Saturday he had taken Itachi and Sasuke fishing. That was all in the past now. Konoha remained the same after all these years. Nothing changed and it wouldn't change. Itachi was so lost in the thought he hadn't noticed someone hiding behind a tree. "Gotcha!" someone yelled and like that Itachi was drenched in water from head to toe. He hadn't been able to dodge whatever was thrown at him which was most likely a few water balloons for colored plastic was on the floor.

Laughter broke out of nowhere as Itachi showed an expression of pure confusion. "Oh…shit. You aren't the pervert," said the voice. Itachi wasn't pleased to say in the least. It was cold enough to catch a cold if wet.

"A pervert scouts out victims in the shadows," Itachi said moving his wet silky black bangs from his face. A young man appeared from behind the tree "Clearly that description fits me." The boy was at least a few years younger than Itachi and a head and half shorter than Itachi. Golden hair stuck out from all places but still framed his face, he had caramel skin, and three whiskers on each cheek or at least Itachi thought of them as whiskers.

"Yeah, yeah, sorry about that old man. I thought you were someone I knew," the boy said but still grinned. Itachi raised an eyebrow in question.

"You do realize these clothes are worth more than your life?" Something possessed Itachi to say this or maybe it was his exhaustion taking the better of him. The boy shuffled uncomfortably but laughed.

"I bet. I said I was sorry! Stop threatening me! Here, let me take you back my teacher's place so we can get you a spare change of clothes. Careful though, he's a pervert who reads stupid porn books. He might dig ya," the boy said chuckling at his own joke. Itachi reluctantly followed the boy back up the hill and had he been concentrating he would have noticed he was going back the way he came from.

"Oh by the way, today is my birthday so call my prank a birthday gift from you to me," he exclaimed grinning again. Itachi clearly thought this boy was out of his mind. And he did. That's when he realized they were at Kakashi's front drive. Itachi groaned connecting the dots.

"You thought I was Kakashi?" Itachi dared asked. The boy nodded fervently then gasped.

"Wait you know the pervert!? So I did have every right to throw water balloons at you! You must be like his sidekick or something!" the boy was too loud and soon enough Itachi heard voices from inside the house.

"Don't place me in the same league as a man who only thinks of sexual intercourse," Itachi said his voice starting to elevate too. The boy giggled.

"Old man, you talk strange. Just say "having sex.""

"There will be none of that while you live with me, brat!" came a cool female voice that sent the boy grasping onto Itachi's arm. Itachi felt a chill run down his body and he was sure it wasn't due to him being drenched in water.

"Itachi, I had no idea you already got…acquainted with Naruto. That fast huh?" Kakashi said a twinkle in his eyes that Itachi wished he could wipe off. All eyes were on him waiting for some form of confession.

"He threw water balloons at me," Itachi said simply. Whatever made everyone crack up laughing was a mystery to him. Kakashi shook his head wiping a tear from the corner of his eye.

"I think Konoha will be seeing some interesting things soon," Kakashi claimed heading back to the house. Tsunade shot Itachi threatening gazes and Iruka seemed more than relieved for some reason. It was only Naruto and him again.

"Hehehe. Sorry about that, they're a bit crazy….so you're that relative Kakashi-sensei was talking about. I thought you'd be a total pervert like him and have stacks of erotic novels. Guess I was wrong," Naruto shrugged detaching himself from Itachi's arm. "I'm Uzumaki Naruto," the boy said stretching out his hand with another grin. Itachi took his time before clasping the small hand into his pale slender large hand.

"Uchiha Itachi," Itachi introduced himself somehow already forgiving the boy for the prank.

"Um nice to meet you Itachi….hey no hard feelings right?" Naruto asked those astounding sapphire eyes grasping Itachi's attention. They were full of life unlike his.

"No hard feelings," Itachi repeated letting the boy smile again. "Happy Birthday, Uzumaki," Itachi said without knowing why he said it. Naruto also seemed surprised by the man's outburst but he laughed. His laugh was loud yet harmonious like the sound of a fast paced piano beat.

"Call me Naruto."

It was on October 10th that Uchiha Itachi met Uzumaki Naruto. Itachi came to Konoha for motivation and reshape his life again as it once was. Soon Itachi would come to see Naruto was his resolve and he, just what Naruto needs. What both of them hadn't realized yet was they both were connected since the beginning before either of them met. Konoha will be seeing some interesting things soon. Kakashi was right.


AN: I have hardly any comments I want to write but I do want so say that this story is similar to Sasuke and Naruto's relationship. Of course it's different but I want to establish the importance of bonds and how they change overtime and bring two people closer together when things seem tough. It sounds cheesy but this an idea I had for ItaNaru. I think this idea suits this pairing better than SasuNaru xD

So what did ya'll think? Btw Itachi forgot to call his mother....