Thicker Than Blood

~Prologue~

~~~*~~~

Things aren't always the way they seem. Perfect family images, the twisted perceptions of society, the unforgiving silence that fills the room and deafens you.

The way you need that silence in order to breathe.

My brother saved me. A long time ago, he rescued me from myself. The demon that had possessed me and whispered words like die and fall into the deepest parts of my mind, haunted me day and night. But Itachi didn't care. He wasn't afraid of the demon like I was.

He wasn't scared to hear it whispering in his ears – in his mind. Unlike me.

If it made one more sound, one more whisper, my world would crumble. Fall apart, cease to exist. Just like me. I would fall apart, too. I would vanish. Maybe my world and my mind are the same thing. My soul, my very existence; a mere perception of a false reality.

These unclear thoughts are what drove me to consider the Amphetamine in the first place.

The whispering voice that told me to die. It turned me into this.

But Itachi saved me, you see. I watched him. I watched him stand up to the father that terrified me. I watched him work himself to exhaustion every day to provide for me. I watched him return from studying abroad and, without any sort of forewarning, watched him bury our mother.

And the demon that had long tormented me; the one that had stalked me every day of my young life and filled my mind with nothing but thoughts of suicide and escape – Itachi killed it. It took a long time. And sometimes I think that struggle, on Itachi's part, killed him too.

But I was long past feeling guilt and regret. I had many things to regret. Many things to grieve. Much to feel guilty over.

I warned Itachi.

I told him to save himself. To not get involved.

"Don't do it," I told him. "Don't risk yourself for my sake. Don't waste your life."

"I won't," he said. "because unless you're with me, my life is a waste."

He said we'd make it out together.

Because he was my brother. Because I was his brother.

Brothers.

Friends.

Lovers.

Itachi was all I had left.

I lost my mother.

I lost Naruto.

Father was never mine.

I hadn't wanted Itachi. I hadn't wanted any of them. I wanted to be left alone, with my miserable thoughts.

With the demon and it's whispering voice. The voice that raped my mind. The voice that took everything from me.

Comforting me and killing me with the same silent voice. The same words that were always unsaid.

Because somehow, that voice was the only one that understood how I felt. The only one that knew myself. It knew me, knew my desires. Knew my suffering.

Itachi knew nothing of this.

He was free. He had a chance.

He was in school overseas when Mother started taking the medication. When Father started drinking. When the voice started whispering to me in my dreams, keeping me from sleeping. And then it followed me into my daydreams, too.

He wasn't there for any of it.

He should have stayed away.

I remember waking up in the hospital. I remember Itachi walking in, looking at me.

"Sasuke," he said.

"Take me home." I told him. "I want to go home."

"I can't do that," he said again.

Take me home.

"I want to go home."

Don't keep me here.

"Let me out."

Don't lock me away.

"Take me home, now!"

I don't know this place.

"Sasuke—"

"TAKE ME HOME, ITACHI!"

We went home after that. I realized what I had done. I was always aware of how I was killing my brother. He was sacrificing everything for my sake. He worked a job he hated, long hours and unpleasant co-workers, gave up the education he had gone overseas to pursue, and spent every waking moment trying to keep me from overdosing on any drug I could grasp.

He was doing all this for me.

So in return for sacrificing everything, I gave him the thing the only thing I could offer.

My body.

Itachi didn't see it this way, of course. He had his own perceptions of why I let him do what he did. Like love.

"You don't care that it's wrong? What we're doing?"

"We're in love, Sasuke. Love isn't wrong."

I didn't care if he lied to me. I was using him. And he was using me. He didn't know that he was using me, though. He felt guilty for leaving me with our insane parents. He felt guilty for the chance at something better that he had been given. He felt guilty.

That's why he was giving me his everything; his chance. That's why he worked until he collapsed every single day. He called it love, but I knew better. He wanted to atone. Itachi didn't love me. He was just too self-righteous to admit that his true intentions were detrimental to everything around us.

But I felt guilty, too. I felt guilty that the gift he had been given was being wasted on me. So I gave him my body. A gift for a gift. A future for an asset. The thing I needed for the thing he wanted.

This was more than just a simple trade between us. We were relieving our mental instabilities.

We were using each other.

Nothing more.

To the eyes of an outsider, this relationship might seem as depraved and immoral as they come. But we didn't care. I didn't care. If I could make the whispering voice stop, I didn't care if I had to become more depraved than it was.

In the two years I spent with my brother since his homecoming, I learned the true meaning of the word 'family'. Blood-relatives. The people in your life whom you are obligated to love.

Blood is thicker than water.

But the bond between Itachi and I is thicker than blood.

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Authors Note: Hello, darlings! Well, this is one of two of my new stories. I hope you enjoyed the prologue. Just to clear up any confusion, these are Sasuke's thoughts at the end of the story. None of these events have happened yet. And he jumps around quite a bit here. Also, the drug amphetamine is an illegal street drug that has several 'street names'. To sum it up in a nutshell, it's a lot like speed and acid. Very bad. If you want specific details, your good friend Wikipedia will surely assist you. :D