I want to thank everyone who has stayed with me up until this point, and everyone who has supported me and asked for updates. I'm great with beginnings, but to finish a story of this magnitude is perhaps one of my greatest accomplishments. When I started this story years ago I didn't expect it to be so well received, so thank you to everyone who reviewed, who messaged me, who offered me advice, and to everyone who read my words up until this point.
This is the last chapter, so I hope it's a good one.

It wasn't that it was just an awkward silence, it was more so that it was an almost tangible one. The tension in the air hung heavy, making the burden on the masked nin's shoulders sink under the weight. Taking a breath, he repeated the words.

"We lost her." It was a blow to the village, having a traitor slip past the border and kidnap an ex-chunin, especially in broad daylight. It was a blow to the anbu search squadron, renowned for their skill in detection and hunting, but most of all it was a blow to Kakashi. It didn't matter to him that Pakkun couldn't find her, or that they'd been caught off guard by Anko's traps, most of which must have been laid several days before. The chances of them finding her weren't high, he knew this and he pursued it anyways. It made no difference though. What bothered him was that…he'd failed her. His right eye twitched and he calmed himself, trying to clear his focus as he gave his report.

He'd failed her. He thought that he could keep her safe but when she needed him… he was busy giving her space. He couldn't save her, he couldn't even find her. Was she hurt? Was she in danger? He tried to wrap his head around one person he cared about who he hadn't been forced to lose… and no one came to mind. Was he cursed? Was he too reckless? What had he done wrong, his entire life, to push everyone away? His parents…his teammates… and now Mitsuki too. Another name on a list that should never have existed.

"We have several theories, most likely they've disappeared off to the nation of Waterfalls, but we don't have the man power to search for-" the Hokage lifted his hand, silencing Kakashi. This information was not new to anyone, he'd stated it before but chose, like most of what he said earlier to repeat it. He wasn't behaving as his usual self and he imagined it was showing. There had been a stunned silence in the room, and perhaps it was the one that still remained once everyone became aware that she was missing. Nobody had anticipated it, Orochimaru had slipped from everyone's mind and another villain had dominated it.

While Kakashi's words were directed at the grey haired man, his eyes drifted to the younger counterpart. The Tsuchikage had left the village, not by choice either. His advisors had practically threatened him several days after the abduction. The search had gone on for a week, more so out of Kakashi's desperation than any solid progress. The blond, Deidara, had been sent in his place. It was decided that the breach in the village walls was best kept a secret from everyone, and as such the entire event was deemed classified. Only a small squadron was sent, and a small fib was made to explain her absence.

"I take it you'll alert the Tsuchikage of this development?" The usually chipper blond had a subdued expression on his face, one laced with annoyance and frustration.

"Is this some kind of joke?" The condescension was thick in his words, and he carried on clearly thinking them incompetent. "She gets kidnapped from inside your village and you let her slip through your hands?" While the point was valid, there were many others factors at play. Kakashi opened his mouth, preparing to respond but the Hokage cut him off.

"Anko was a captain of one of our search squads. She knows our strengths and our weaknesses. Changes have been made, different formations organized. I assure you such a large breach won't happen again." There was a refined anger in his tone, one mastered by age and practice.

"It shouldn't have happened in the first place." While the Hokage's words were wise and calculated, the blondes were whiny and brash. He was discontent with the situation but the fact remained that there was nothing to be done about it.

"Enough." Sitting up and slamming his hands on the table the Hokage turned his gaze to the boy, and then shifted them to the room. "Our village is in the midst of a crisis, we cannot spare men to undergo a search for a single civilian. It is unfortunate I know, but it is better to do that which we can, then waste resources on that which may never be. We will have to accept the fact that Mitsuki is gone." The Hokage had always been a logical man, but he felt a slight wince as he spoke the words. The only practical solution was to abandoned her, at least at the moment, and yet for some reason it still stung. He doubted he'd made any particular attachment to the girl, but he'd given Itachi his word that he would look after her and in less than a week she'd slipped from his grasp. His pride was the only thing truly wounded. "Tell the anbu to resume their guard around the village, add reinforcements to the-" The silver haired nin cut him off.

"Surely you don't mean to stop searching for her?" There was genuine surprise in Kakashi's voice which caught Sarutobi off guard. The masked nin had always been both a rational person and a strategist. He should've been the first to realize it was pointless wasting time on a pawn.

"That's exactly what I mean." He tilted his head to the blond as an afterthought. "Perhaps Earth could be so kind and spare some resources?" "I'll see what I can do." Grumbling something about incompetence the boy nodded before exiting. He'd most likely left to report the news, and Sarutobi couldn't have been more relieved the Tsuchikage had been forced to leave. Momiji's anger at her kidnapping had unnerved the old man slightly, and he had yet to determine where the boy's fondness for Mitsuki had come from.

"So we leave her then?" Kakashi's question was resigned, the answer already made clear to him. Sadly, the Hokage nodded. He'd known his pupil well enough to grasp his intention.

"I know Orochimaru. I tried to ignore his nature for as long as I could but it's clear to me. His fondness for the girl has nothing to do with her being his pupil, it has to do with her being his experiment. He'll dissect her until there's nothing left." He knew the words were harsh but they needed to be said. He'd seen the flicker of hope in the masked nin's eyes and he was aware of the consequences of keeping that flame lit. "As far as Konoha is concerned, Mitsuki Miyamoto is dead."

"So, then she comes out of nowhere and is all 'back off,' and then this other guy, he said he was a kage but I'm not sure if I believe it, anyways, he was all 'what'd you want?' and then I was all 'the frog' and-" Iruka raised his hand, annoyed and frustrated with the small child.

"Naruto, would you cut it out and get to the point?" The blond nodded eagerly, not even the slightest bit disheartened by Iruka's blatant disinterest.

"I've decided I'm going to marry her!" Iruka nodded, rolling his eyes at the strange boy, though perhaps a little relieved that he seemed to get along with someone.

"That's nice, and why're you telling me this?"

"Well… it's kind of embarrassing you see… because she told me where she lived but I kind of forgot, so I'm not sure how I'm supposed to find her." He couldn't help but laugh at that. It was typical Naruto behaviour.

"Oh, and what's her name?"

"Mitsuki Miyamoto." It took a moment for the words to sink in, and for a moment Iruka felt almost bad for the child. His excitement was almost contagious and yet directed at so odd an character. Orochimaru's pupil? Certainly he knew that she was someone not to be trusted? Glancing down at Naruto, and really glancing down, he took in the small boys excitement, wondering if he should be the one to tell him the news. An image of the fox demon sprung to mind, but resolutely Iruka pushed it down.

"I think she's out of the village on a mission for now, but once she gets back I'll be sure to tell her all about her upcoming nuptials." The boy frowned clearly not content with the news, but Iruka figured it was better than the truth.

"How long will the mission take?" He leaned down and mussed the boys hair a habit foreign to him and one which clearly caught Naruto by surprise.

"She'll be gone for a while, but once she gets back I'm sure she'll be excited to see you." He smiled shyly then, and it was an odd moment of vulnerability for the child.

"You… you think so?" He nodded, trying to be as convincing as he could.

"I'm sure of it." The grin he received made his face heat up in embarrassment. It was so easy to please Naruto… and yet he never tried.

"Hey, Iruka-sensei?"

"Yes, Naruto?"

"What are nuptials?"

"So, she's gone then?" Tsunade frowned. She couldn't tell if she was more surprised by his lack of emotional response, or the fact that he even asked the question at all.

"Yes, she's with Jiraiya trying to find a way to remove the seal." Sasuke nodded, the small boy seeming to have aged years over the span of a few days. His eyes were still stained red, and he was still confined to a hospital bed. Physically he was fine, but physically he'd never been hurt. It was his mind that was damaged, causing him such agony that his legs shook in terror, so hard he couldn't walk. "What exactly was your relationship with her?" The boy continued to wear his emotionless expression, shifting his gaze out the window.

"My relationship?" He winced and began rubbing his head, a sudden ache having developed. "Who knows? It's not like we truly know anyone." She frowned then nodding, deciding the boy needed time to thaw the numbness out. He was upset now, and it was understandable but the years would help. Soon he'd be back to his usual chipper self.

At least she hoped so.

"So, Sound?" He smiled kindly at me, mussing my hair in his usual fashion. It was odd that despite everything that had occurred, how very little had changed.

"It's nice, isn't it?" Sorting my thoughts I couldn't help but nod. I'd been sifting through emotions the past week, fighting against anger and blame, trying to figure everything out but having no luck. Orochimaru was familiar and welcome, and the only ally I currently had in this situation I'd managed to get myself into. I'd wanted to lash out and be angry but he was so welcoming, and the hostility around me was almost potent.

It seemed his followers were even more possessive than he was, and since I'd arrived the sannin was glued to my side. He insisted that he trusted them, but judging by his constant closeness I wasn't sure I bought it. I could see the envy in their eyes, and perhaps the most frightening part was that none of them even bothered to hide it. I was unwanted and they all made it very clear.

"Are you feeling better?" I nodded smiling weakly. I'd been exhausted since we arrived, and despite how little of the actual travelling I did, without my chakra, exhaustion sunk in quicker.

"Much," there were moments like this, awkward pauses which I was oddly grateful for. They reminded me that despite appearances, things were different. There was a part of me that kept second guessing myself, wondering if perhaps I should've put up a fight with Anko. If I'd called for help or run away, I'm sure someone would have been able to save me, but it was that last thought that made me glad I did come.

I didn't want anyone to save me, I wanted to rescue myself. I could've remained in Konoha, but without my chakra I was defenceless. The hostile eyes matched the ones back home, the only difference was that here there was someone who trusted me. Here there was someone who could free me and return to me the power they'd sealed away. I needed that power back.

A pair of red eyes flashed before me, hitching my breath and forcing myself to calm down. I would never be that vulnerable again.

"Are you sure you're alright Mitsuki?" Glancing up at him I nodded. He was by no means my favourite person, but currently he was the one that I needed. I'd had so many questions to ask him, but I'd been here for several days and everything had culminated in small talk. Glancing up at him though, one question came to mind, one whose answer I desperately clung to.

"What… what really happened to my parents?"

"They're awfully chummy, aren't they?" Kabuto adjusted his glasses, letting his gaze trail behind the happy couple as inconspicuously as he could.

"Just admit you're jealous, this is getting sad." The purple haired ex-anbu was a ball of anxiousness, bored and frustrated in the monotony of village life. Her companion's whining wasn't doing anything to help her nerves. "This is so annoying, how long are we just going to stand around here?"

"You can leave whenever you want, and I'm not jealous. I just don't understand just what he sees in her." Anko rolled her eyes at his obvious envy. Kabuto very rarely risked coming out to the village, but he'd been here for almost a week now. Soon his cover story would end and he'd have to return so it was only natural he was thinking of the best way to sabotage things in the short run.

"Is that why you killed her parents?" He shrugged his shoulders, an ominous smirk gracing his innocent face.

"There's always joy in the little things. How long before he gets bored of her?" Anko stood up then, seeking more interesting company.

"You can sit here and be jealous on your own, and just so you know, I don't think he'll be getting bored of her anytime soon." She watched the pair walk away and turn the corner, noticing Orochimaru's protective movements, and how his hands would always find a way to make contact with her. "I think her returning here was a test, and it seems like she passed."

"But you won't tell me who?" There was relief and annoyance in my words, and knowing the man as well as I did I made no attempt to hide them.

"Now, now Mitsuki. I want you to make friends."

"Well, last time I checked friends don't kill each others parents." He'd confirmed my suspicion, that someone else was behind it, and yet this new tidbit of information didn't seem to affect me as much as I thought it would. I was relieved my sensei hadn't murdered my parents… but that didn't change the fact that they were no longer here. It also didn't detract from how he'd betrayed me and… I stopped walking a moment, rubbing my head slightly. It wasn't like it ached, but it was more like there was a fog, clouding my vision. My feelings had seemed dull these last couple of days. I'd been thinking so logically, so practically. I was here in front of Orochimaru and for some reason all of the things I thought I'd be feeling… I simply wasn't. I wondered if this was me truly becoming a shinobi, pushing down all that I was and only taking the pieces I could use. It was odd to think that this numbness was what I'd been striving for, and I questioned if that was truly it. Was there another reason everything in me felt so… repressed? Perhaps there was more to the seal than I knew… or perhaps there was something more all together.

"Are you alright?" Glancing up I noted the twinkle of thinly veiled worry, detectable only due to years of looking.

"You've been asking that a lot, haven't you?" He shrugged his shoulders nonchalantly, changing the subject.

"You've asked your question, I believe it's only fair I ask mine." I'd always just assumed that Orochimaru knew everything, so to have him want to question me was an oddity that hadn't occurred before. Hesitantly I nodded.

"Why didn't you resist?" His eyes were filled with curiosity, and I searched as I could for signs of mistrust but all they did was crinkle at me in that gentle way they always did.

"You mean why didn't I fight Anko?" He nodded briefly, giving me time to sort out my answer. It was a question that hit close to home, and I wasn't completely aware myself of the answer. I had a series of excuses but none that would satiate his curiosity. "Well, it's not like I could've put up a very good fight." I added a chuckle at the end of my words, hoping to play it off with humour but his smile faltered and impatience leaked into his voice.

"You know what I meant Mitsuki." I winced internally, part of it was because he was scolding me, and part of it was because I missed it.

"I… I don't know." His frown deepened, clearly not content with that answer so I kept speaking. "I really don't know. Since you left everything has been a struggle. The villagers don't trust me, some of them are afraid of me…and I thought I could deal with it but…" I expected water to pool into my eyes, my usual response. I didn't need to touch them to know how dry they were. "I got lonely, I felt abandoned, and it didn't help that through everything I was so useless. Then the massacre happened and… I thought about giving up. I thought about living as a retired civilian, having the life my parents wanted, and it scared me. After everything I've been through… I wasn't ready to just lay back and let this ship run its course. I wanted to direct it. I wanted to go back to the me that I used to be. The one who could deal with the stares, who wasn't afraid all the time, and I realized that the old me had power. She had a strength that had been sealed away. Strength you sealed away." My gaze shifted to meet his then, and the guilt in his eyes made my stomach knot up. He raised his hand to cup my cheek, tucking my hair back in the process.

"I did it to protect you."

"I know… but… I don't want to need protecting anymore. I want… I need to be able to defend myself I can't… I remember lying there, in the Uchiha manor as Itachi stood over me. He held my life in his hand, and I couldn't even do anything to stop him. I was so scared and so useless…I couldn't even beg. I just…" My voice trailed off, the blur of those last moments returning. I'd blacked out part of the conversation, though they say fear can do that to you. I remembered seeing him in that room, and his last words to me, but everything in between was varying shades of grey. Most darker than others. He removed his hand from my cheek and grabbed my wrist gently.

"Perhaps we should go somewhere more private." He nodded, and took a brief moment to glance around at his surroundings, particularly the array of followers whose eyes would drift towards us, particularly hostile towards me and openly adoring of my sensei.

"They don't like me."

"No, they don't. Your vulnerability makes me anxious as well." I held my breath, wondering if he would address the topic I'd been tip-toeing around. I'd yet to ask him out right to remove my seal, hoping that he would take the first step. Normally used to rejection, this was a request I couldn't deal with being denied. "Perhaps, it's time to return you to your best?" There was a kindness in his eyes, and something I thought was akin to vulnerability. Orochimaru was staring at me as though he trusted me, as though he was certain I wouldn't betray him or let him down. His eyes were soon mixed with shock as I wrapped my arms around him. I'd never been one to crave power, in fact more often than not I was the first to run from it… but I was sick of being defenceless, and this is ultimately what scared me most.

"Thank you," I was ready to end the embrace, but he held me tightly, stroking my hair softly. It was rare for him to show kindness, and I wondered if he was this sentimental about his other followers? Recalling the jealousy in their eyes, I realized that it was likely just me. I wasn't sure what exactly I was to him, but his actions proved that I meant something. With Orochimaru, not being disposable made me feel kind of like a big deal.

"They're angry with me," Deidara sighed, wondering how to cheer his somber friend up. "I'm a little angry with me too," curling his hair in his fingers, Momiji cupped his head in his hand, looking to his friend for some sort of comfort.

"You need to snap out of it." The blonde had been just as shocked by the Tsuchikage's actions as the elders, not anticipating his flight of fancy to become so intense. The marriage prospect had been interesting, but Deidara hadn't fully grasped the extent of the consequences.

"I know… I know… but… It was nice. She was nice." He shook his head roughly, before wiping the emotion from his face, returning to the stone cold exterior everyone equated with him. "Has the search team reported anything?" Deidara shook his head, wondering how he could be of assistance. He wasn't used to being useless.

"They'll be other girls. If I'm not mistaken you were pretty popular in Konoha," his friend shrugged apathetically not the least bit swayed.

"But she was different. She was fun and she…" Momiji leaned his head back, trying to sort out his thoughts and let it all sink in. There had been something different about her. A softness that was displaced in a shinobi, and a hardness unbefitting a civilian. She was this interesting blend of difference that he'd become smitten with and… he'd let her slip from his fingers. He sighed, trying to rationalize his emotions. He was young, prone to nativities and flights of fancy, but since they'd been parted after first meeting his thoughts had shifted to her. "It's just… I haven't let myself want something in so long. I've just taken things as they are, never pushing my luck and with her…"

There was so much about her that he didn't know, but so much about her character he admired. Had he been too rash, too abrasive in his decision? The council had rejected his proposal but he'd pushed head strong anyways. It was these moments of doubt where his father's insanity made sense to him. It was so difficult to have both power and trust, and staring at the blonde before him, he knew that even the only ally he had was doubting him. With Mitsuki, trust came easily and passively. There was so much innocence in her eyes, as though loyalty brewed in her blood.

"The council wants me to call the search team back." He expected his rebellious friend to say what he usually did. To tell him to reject the elders and their old passé ideologies, that they didn't know what they were doing and that there was a reason he was leader. Instead he got an apologetic nod.

"It's been two weeks. They've made no progress, I think its best to assume that he has her."

"Do… do you think he'll kill her?" Deidara shook his head.

"Orochimaru risked too much to save her, I doubt he'll let much harm come to her. She should be safe." Deidara's words were optimistic, but Momiji needed that brief bit of hope.

"She should've been better guarded… better protected. I should've-" his oldest friend cut him off.

"You couldn't have known. No one did. It's not your fault, and while she was sweet she was just a girl." The young boy sighed, processing the words.

"This job is sacrifice. I had to sacrifice my family, my friends, my time, my choices and now… do I have to sacrifice love as well?" He didn't expect the laugh from the blond, but there was something about it that seemed to lighten a weight on his shoulders.

"Sacrifice love, don't be so melodramatic. There are lots of girls, and until then you have me. In case you forgot, I am kind of awesome." A chuckle escape the Tsuchikage who couldn't help but be grateful.

"Perhaps your right." There was a thoughtful pause as Momiji glanced out the window, trying to sort out his options. He wasn't very good at letting go, but perhaps this was a situation where it was best. "Call the search team back." This would be goodbye.

"Whatever you want, I mean, you are Tsuchikage after all."

"What… is it?" I couldn't help but stare down at my body, almost naked and covered in lines of black ink. They contrasted sharply both with the hue of my skin and the red of the seal. I'd expected the process to be complicated, but the intricacy of the markings adorning me made my anxious. There was a part of me that was hesitant about the process. I trusted that Orochimaru would know how to remove the seal, but I wasn't familiar with the process. There was something ritualistic about what he was currently doing and I wondered if he had other motives. Was he really going to remove my seal, or was he planning on doing something else?

"I told you it wouldn't be an easy process, and don't expect it to be painless either. The placement of the seal drained me, but the removal will affect you." I nodded, his words making sense. There was an odd symmetry to the designs he was drawing on me, and I realized that my sensei was a man who adored balance.

"Is… is it safe? I mean, if something went wrong then…?" There was fear in my voice, and while I tried to hide it he heard the tones.

"It should be. Unsealing it will exhaust you, but it won't kill you. It's the chakra inside of the seal that I'm worried about. Your anger and your raw emotion is what triggered it, so as long as you remain calm it should remain dormant. I'm not removing the seal completely, but I am modifying it." Sensing my hesitance he gave me a reassuring smile. Where before I would've believed him at his word, I couldn't help but think not fully removing the seal came with a hidden warning. He could seal up the chakra should it go awry, and he could seal it up should I go awry. I felt for a moment as though my body was being held hostage, but remembering the battle ground it had become with warring chakras… I decided it was a scenario I was alright with. There was something uncharacteristic in his phrase that gave me pause.

"Should?" Orochimaru was an assertive man who very seldom dealt in possibility.

"I've never actually used the technique before." He gave me a moment to let that tidbit of information sink in, and I realized with a slight panic everything that could go wrong. He moved closer to me, cupping my cheek.

"I'm a sannin for a reason Mitsuki, and your sensei as well. That alone should be enough for you to trust me." I nodded, knowing that while he may have been right I was out of options. "Are you ready?" Lying down on the cold stone table, body coated in ink I wondered if this was what I wanted. I'd craved power because I feared vulnerability, and now that it was here, I was worried. What would happen after the seal was broken? I couldn't return to Konoha… not with my chakra unsealed and not after having disappeared for so long. I would have to remain here, surrounded by those who'd rather see me dead than see me with Orochimaru. Despite all of that, there was no falter in my voice when I answered.

"I'm ready."

"I'm fine." She hesitated before nodding, letting go of his arm and watching him retrieve his balance. "Can I go home now?" Tsunade had made it a point to never get too attached to her patients. There were too many of them, and never enough of her to give. Some of them didn't make it, and those that did often ended back in a hospital bed. It was a hard life being a medic, and one couldn't give pieces of themselves away to every life they saved. Staring at the young boy though, she felt her heart break.

"Yes, but are you sure you don't want to stay here a little while longer. I'm sure you could use more time to heal." He wasn't injured, not physically anyway, but the scars that laced his mind were made visible by merely looking into his eyes.

"I'm fine. Besides, I won't get stronger wasting away in a hospital bed." She frowned then, his words not fully registering.


"He won't get away with this. I will avenge my clan." In any other situation, with any other boy, perhaps she may have laughed. He couldn't have been more than 8, speaking about strength and vengeance, and yet the weight of his words seemed to make her shoulders heavy.

Perhaps there was something she could have said to stop him. Words that would have made him stay, or change his mind, but she said nothing. Tsunade watched the boy leave, taking the first steps down a path that she knew would only bring more pain and suffering. She could heal the most severe of injuries, but in that moment his wounds were too deep for even her to mend.

No matter how many injuries you were exposed to, the shock of pain never truly faded. I'd been cut, scratched, pierced, and even burned, but this pain was nothing like the others. I felt as though my skin was on fire, and yet it felt as though a layer of ice coated it. I could feel needles piercing me, their touch light and fleeting, and the pain overwhelming.

My screams echoed around the room, ripped from me until my throat felt almost raw, my head aching and my stomach growing nauseous. I couldn't know long I writhed and spasmed on the table, my body shaking so much the only sensation I fully noted was someone pinning my arms down. I saw a flicker of purple hair and noted vaguely we weren't alone, and speckles of white dotted my vision as well.

Consciousness seemed to fade in and out, and glancing down at my body I watched as the black ink around me seemed to swirl up my body, mixing with the red of the seal. My muscles felt like they were on fire, and my bones as though they were ready to snap.

"Mitsuki…" I recognized the voice, familiar with Orochimaru but not his tone. My name had an almost frantic feel to it, an anxiousness not commonly attributed to the sannin.

I wasn't sure why, but I knew he was worried and as the black ink continued to swirl I felt a layer of darkness cloak my eyes, before I slowly fell into numbness.

"Do you think this is best?" Jiraiya's words lacked judgement, but they were spoken with hesitation. Kakashi sighed, his response smooth and rehearsed.

"As a shinobi, there are very few things you ever truly get to do. I am happy with any chance I get to say goodbye." The sky was bleak, the air frigid with the bite of fall. Kakashi noted idly how there seemed to be several weeds strewn about the ground, and tallied up the differences between the civilian cemetery and those of his own kind. The shinobi graves were much better tended to, but his people died to protect and these people died protected. She would be buried next to her parents.

"I'm sorry." Were Gai's words as he pressed a reassuring hand on the the silver haired shinobi's shoulder. His usual enthusiastic demeanour had faded, and he'd left his usually colourful wardrobe in favour of the greys and blacks everyone else seemed to adorn.

There were more people here than he expected, and the copycat nin eyed everyone trying to figure them out. There were many people here who had attended her parent's funeral, most of which sobbed, it must have been nice not needing to your emotions. He envied civilians at times like these, where they could be so raw where he was so processed. He recognized her old teammate and sensei, the pair looking somber. That Daisuke boy was all that remained from a set of three.

The Hokage was there as well, at the centre of everything standing over the casket. Kakashi heard the drops before he felt them, the light splattering of rain having little impact on his mood. There was enough melancholy in the air that no amount of rain could wash it away.

"We gather here today to pay our respects…" Kakashi was sure she was still alive, somewhere… at least for now she was. Perhaps that was what frustrated him the most about this scenario, it was as though he was giving up on her. What choice did he really have though? "Mitsuki was an asset to this village…"

The Hokage continued to speak the words he had so carefully rehearsed, emulating as much sympathy as he could. It didn't really matter though given the spectators. Most were here partially out of guilt for suspecting her a traitor and many just to say that they cared. Tragedy attracted spectators, it was a fact of life. Those not here out of guilt were here out of obligation, friends of her parents or those who'd gone on missions with her. Sarutobi was surprised at how vast the crowd was, and a part of him wondered if Itachi would return for the funeral but he knew he wouldn't.

It'd been the elders who'd insisted he did this, the anxiousness of the villagers almost tangible. Everyone was on edge, suspicions and tensions high like a taught string ready to snap. Her disappearance would cause too much panic, both a breach and an escape were too much for the village to handle. They could however deal with a martyr. Mitsuki weighed down by the pain of losing her parents, her sensei, and then the events after the Uchiha massacre had taken her own life. It was a lie, but it was one that served a purpose.

It was the only strategy that had absolved him of his crimes. He'd given his word to Itachi that he'd keep her safe from outsiders but there was no way he could keep her safe from herself. It was a cowards trick and a sneaky way out, but very few people knew the truth of the situation and it was better that way. If word were to get out about another breach, after all that had befallen the village… Konoha would be ruined. Now was a time to stand strong and some things were better left as secrets. As far as Konoha was concerned, Mitsuki was dead, whether it be Orochimaru's hand or her own were mere technicalities.

He spoke the words, watching people huddle together for warmth under the torrid of rain knowing that while this whole event was a lie, it was one that brought a small ounce of peace to everyone. It was better to close doors then to leave them open and watch the monsters pour through.

He noted Sasuke Uchiha, eyes oddly dry despite the situation. A sharp contrast to the weeping blond beside him. Oddly enough, Naruto had attended as well and he appeared to be the most somber of everyone there. The Hokage couldn't understand what relation the boy could have possibly had with Mitsuki. Though, perhaps it was a testament to her character that she seemed to befriend strangers so easily. A part of him was saddened at what happened to the girl, but another part had become so hardened by loss that the likely death of a shinobi barely dented him. He may have cared about the ninja of his village, but he could never care about each of them. One doesn't become Hokage by being careless with their affections.

It was with relief he noted the absence of the Tsuchikage, who had apparently been rather cordial to the new representative. He'd opted to skip the trip in order to bury a casket he knew was empty. Whether Momiji approved of the events was yet to be determined, either way he'd remained silent on the matter. He'd recalled his search team, and perhaps that was his own way of saying goodbye to Mitsuki.

The Hokage sighed, tilting his head in a moment of silence as everyone followed suit. Konoha was beginning to recover, slowly but surely. Everything seemed to be falling into place.

And with that, he watched them bury an empty casket.

"Mitsuki?" My eyelids slowly lifted open, adjusting quickly to the dim candle light. Orochimaru was beside me, holding me cradled in his arms a worried look on his face. I glanced down at my body, loosely draped in a piece of dark fabric, the canvas of my skin free of black ink. Glancing down at where the seal should have been I was surprised at how vacant it was. Orochimaru had told me that he would modify it, and yet it had been completely erased. "Are you alright?" There was a sombreness to his voice, one that spoke of disappointment and worry. It hadn't worked, was what his eyes conveyed to me, but glancing down I couldn't help but feel as though something was different. I moved my fingers and my arm, noting how… light I felt. There was nothing to remember the previous pain by, no reminder of the seizures that had rocked my body. I felt…weightless.

"Mitsuki…" my silence had clearly unnerved him and judging by the exhaustion on his face it had left him drained.

"The jutsu was designed to release seals and barriers. Once its activated though it kind of took on a life of its own. It seems as though you had multiple seals and it destroyed them all… and then some. To be honest, I'm surprised you're alive." I recognized the white haired boy from the hospital, why he was here I couldn't fully fathom, but the envy in his eyes was clear. I noted Anko vaguely in the corner, and her eyes were slightly somber as well. There was a heavy weight in the room one which I couldn't fully grasp, but there was a burden they'd yet to share with me.

"I… I feel fine." I glanced up at Orochimaru, whose eyes were staring at me with guilt. "Look," I moved my fingers idly, trying to show him that I wasn't in pain, and embarrassingly I shifted the cloth, noting how exposed I was.

"Mitsuki…" the name was spoken with both affection and disappointment. I could see him trying to formulate his words, and it was rare for Orochimaru to not be able to articulate something.

"The seal on your chest is destroyed." I glanced at the white haired boy, his hostility almost tangible and yet his appearance so well composed. He was the appearance of warmth and kindness but I could practically feel him radiating hate. "The seal should have been altered or modified, made to open. It was essentially a container for your chakra, and when the jutsu destroyed it, it took your chakra with it." My eyes widened as the full implications of what he was saying seemed to click.

"My chakra… is gone?" I should've felt my body go cold but for some reason I felt like there had to be some drastic mistake. I'd been vulnerable with my chakra sealed, but with it destroyed? I was practically useless, and suddenly then the disappointment in Orochimaru's eyes made sense. He wasn't disappointed that the jutsu had gone wrong… he'd lost years and years of hard work after having his experiment fail him. What use to him was I if I couldn't even use a single jutsu? He would have no purpose for a shinobi with no chakra… I would be disposed of. I closed my eyes and curled up on myself, realizing how stupid I'd been. I should've stayed in the safety of Konoha, and yet I'd chose to pursue power. All I wanted to do was just disappear. Hide somewhere safe and protected, where I wouldn't need to worry about politics or power. I was a fool…a silly hopeful fool.

"Mitsuki?!" My head shot up at the excitement in Orochimaru's voice, and I nearly gasped as he tilted my head up towards him. The embrace that followed after was unprecedented and unwarranted.

"What… what's wrong?" Anko and Kabuto seemed to have equally startled looks on their faces, the purple haired shinobi speaking up first.

"What the… you just disappeared!" It a moment to grasp the true meaning of her words, but suddenly it clicked. I'd disappeared like this before, back in Konoha when I was scared and panic. I'd done that using my chakra… which would mean…

I closed my eyes, focusing on the flow of my energy. My chakra had always been a light blue, and I recalled vaguely the hot pulsing of the animal chakra, an emerald green so dark at times I thought it was black. I couldn't detect any of that, but I still felt the familiar flow of chakra through my veins, a feeling I'd missed after the seal had stripped it from me. It was like a warm river, the movements of which you could control but as I tried to put a colour on it I realized that I couldn't.

"You can sense your chakra, can't you?" I glanced up my old sensei, nodding. My head felt light as the situation slowly dawned on me.

"You can't detect it?" He shook his head, a wide smile taking over his gaze.

"Your chakra and the animal chakra… sealed for so long it must've fused. Its practically undetectable now…" I could see ideas dancing in his mind and felt my heart race with the very notion. Orochimaru was a sannin, and for him to not be able to detect it… for me to become invisible without even trying… I'd come here chasing my old power, the abilities I'd spent years refining, and I'd received a power perhaps unprecedented in the entire history of shinobi.

A shinobi who could disappear at will… whose chakra was undetectable… I'd been formidable before but with this power… with this power I could rewrite any limit I'd ever known.

"Mitsuki…" It was the fourth time he'd said my name, and each time it carried a different meaning. This time though I understood. The reverence in his tone matched the adoration his voice. Pride practically radiated from him, the light in his eyes clear. I was the most amazing experiment he'd ever created, and I was apt to agree with him.

I'd come pursuing power and I got more than I could have imagined. I wouldn't be weak or vulnerable again.

The red eyes that haunted me flashed into my vision, the eyes that had made me quack with… with…with fear? No… that wasn't right.

I recalled Kabuto making mention of multiple seals being broken… multiple barriers… and I suddenly understood as flashbacks of moments past and forgotten floated in my vision, reminding me of a man I knew I could never truly forget.

"Is there a reason you're following my brother?" I glanced behind me to come face to with really, really dark eyes. Almost black, not to mention really scary.

"Stay away from Uchiha Itachi."

"Uchiha Itachi?" I could sense an odd strain on the anbu's voice. "Why do you want to know about him?"

"Why would I pick someone as weak as you to be my apprentice?" Ouch, that hurt. "What exactly is in it for me?"

"The knowledge that you get to train and help mould the youth of this village? Come on, please? I'll keep bugging you if you say no, and besides, I happen to know this is your favourite training ground."

"There are many others to choose from."

"Oh, but the lake is so pretty here. Besides, no one else ever uses it. Gosh, actually, doesn't this look like the perfect place to eat some dango?"

"...Did you say, Dango?"

Mysterious anbu man is Uchiha Itachi.

"How... how could you tell?"

"That you'd killed someone?"


"The way you looked at me when I arrived. The way you look at everything. Like you're waiting for it to change back to the way you remember."

"Do you... do you ever get over it?"



"You do it again."

"What're you doing here so late?" He asked without even glancing in my direction.

"I could ask you the same question." Silently we both took a deep breath in.

"Nightmares." I was almost as surprised as him when we both said the same word.

"Are you nervous about tomorrow?"

"A little." And after that, back to the silence. I could feel my eyes start to drift close, and I slightly recall my head falling onto his shoulder, but I'm sure I imagined him putting his arm around me, or the light kiss I felt on my forehead. No, I'm sure I just imagined that.

A curve of the lips, and then a small chuckle that followed. Laughing. Uchiha Itachi was actually laughing.

"What's... what's so funny?"

"Maybe the fact that you made chuunin? I mean, I thought you needed some sort of skill for that. Apparently not."

"...You know this used to be my spot."

"Yeah, well learn to share." And back to the lake it was, just like always, and though I didn't say it, I kind of like the fact that he admitted it wasn't just his spot anymore. That silently, it was 'our' spot brought a small smile to my lips.

"Itachi?" His head shot up, and I was right as he stared at me surprised. Oddly enough, he hadn't sensed me before. Whatever was going on with Itachi, it seemed to stem far beyond Shisui's suicide.

"Mitsuki." Oddly enough, I recognized relief in his eyes.

"When you do a mission, do you ever wonder if it's... right or wrong?" As odd as the question was I knew what he meant.

"It feels wrong usually. When you're told to kill someone with no reason as to why they need to die. But, It's for the best, or at least I keep telling myself that. We complete missions for the sake of protecting the village right? And, I like the village, and I trust the Hokage to make the right decisions."

"But would you complete a mission if it involved hurting those close to you?"

"What'd you mean?"

"If, for example, I somehow betrayed this village, and became a rouge nin, would you hunt me down and kill me?" For some reason this question unnerved me.

"Well, that's a silly example. I mean, there's no way you of all people would betray the village, and besides, I doubt I could beat you if I tried. "

"But lets say I did leave, and lets say you could kill me. Would you?"

"Itachi, what kind of question is that?"

"If I was a threat to the village, if I'd killed fellow shinobi, and killing me would be the greater good of the village, and you could do it, would you?" I didn't need to think about it for a second.

"No." I wanted my answer to come out louder, but it came out quiet. For some odd reason, Itachi seemed surprised by my answer.

"You wouldn't?"

"Of course I wouldn't."

"Why not?"

"Because I know you well enough to know that you'd never betray the village. And if some reason you became some rogue ninja, I'd imagine it was for a good reason. I might beat you up anyways though, for not giving me the heads up beforehand." At this Itachi smiled.

"Thank you Mitsuki." And suddenly that whole touching barrier seemed to be gone, and he wrapped his arm around me, and I rested my head on his shoulders, and as I felt his lips on my forehead, too awake to imagine them, it dawned on me that things were going to change.

"Mitsuki. Can I ask you a favour?" This got my attention. I don't think Itachi had asked me for a favour... ever. It was always me asking him.

"Sure." I said, not hesitating. I was curious as to what it was he needed in the first place.

"If... if anything were to happen to me, would you look after Sasuke for me?" Now this had me worried.

"What?" I mean, what kind of favour is that?

"Just answer it Mitsuki."

"Of course I will. But, lets just hope nothing happens to you."

"Thank you."

He closed his eyes as he summoned his bloodline limit, and when he opened them I was faced with the sharingan. It was a bit of an eerie contrast. I was so used to solid black eyes, that piercing red ones took me by surprise. But they didn't scare me.

"What'd the three dots mean again?" I asked, staring at his eyes.

"They're not dots, they're tomoe. They represent the level of mastery. Three is the highest level." I nodded. Naturally, he would've achieved it. "Mitsuki?" They really were fascinating. I wish I had a cool blood line like that. Was I staring?

"Yes Itachi?"

"How many times have I told you to not look at them?" His brows furrowed as if trying to convince me I'd done something wrong.

"But why's it matter? It's just you." He seemed taken aback by this, and I was sure I saw specks of red on his cheek again.

"Mitsuki, you have to realize just how dangerous the sharingan are. Just by looking into them you could be caught in a genjutsu and not even know it." I nodded, and rolled my eyes.

"You don't need to be such a worry wort. Didn't I tell you already Itachi, I trust you." He didn't blush this time. In fact he looked a little upset.

"Mitsuki, please, stop saying that." At this I frowned.

"Stop saying what?" Had I said something to upset him?

"That you trust me."

"But I do trust you." I saw his fists clench, and I couldn't understand why.

"Mitsuki. Stop." There seemed to be a complete change in the atmosphere.

"Why?" I tried to make my voice as commanding as his, but it came out as a bit of a whisper.

"Because Mitsuki, if I were to betray you," His fists tightened as he said this, "I would feel so... guilty... knowing that you trusted me." There was an air of tension in the air, but I knew he wasn't mad. Something was upsetting him. I wasn't sure what, but it was a topic he'd been avoiding. I wouldn't pressure him though.

"There's a really easy solution to this you know," I tried to make my voice light, and he looked up confused.

"And what is that?" He said, his expression returning to normal.

"Just don't betray me."

"How... how can I have someone else's chakara in me? I mean... that's weird right?" He remained quiet for a while before taking a deep breath.

"It's... different. I've never heard of it before, but I'll do some research. I'm sure I'll be able to figure something out." We sat in silence for a little bit.

"Does this mean I'm some sort of freak?" Itachi chuckled lightly.

"To be honest, you were always sort of weird." I rolled my eyes, feeling myself get sleepy.



"I won't tell anyone. You... you can trust me to do that."

I lifted my head, and looked him in the eyes, the sharingan still present. There was a tone to his voice that said he had more he wanted to say. "I can't promise that I won't hurt you or betray you, but I can promise that if I do, it's not because I want to."

"You know, if you get over how dangerous they are, your sharingan are kind of pretty." I said, admiring them. He laughed at that.

"I must've forgotten to turn them off." He said it, but his eyes remained the same red, locked with mine.

"Have you ever cast a genjutsu on me using them?" He laughed at that, his eyes not moving from mine.

"Of course not. I mean, it's not like I needed to."

"Would you ever?" I asked it teasingly, but he responded seriously.


"I've... I've never met anyone able to stare me in the eyes with my sharingan activated." I couldn't help but smile at that too. "Let me rephrase that. I've never met anyone stupid enough, and then you came along." I laughed at that. Our eyes continued to stay locked and I could tell he was waiting for me to look away. "Do, do they really not bug you?" He said, his eyes searching mine for a hint of fear. I can say with certainty he never found it.

"I told you, I trust you." I said, and as we sat there, staring into each others eyes, slowly moving closer. I was thinking that if I moved just a little bit more, we would be kissing. But I didn't have time to make that move. Itachi made it for me.

He kissed me.

"What you did was dangerous and reckless, not to mention stupid. Do you have any idea what could've happened? He's not stable, he could've killed you, or knocked you unconscious and taken you with him! Surely you're not foolish enough to think you can take on a sannin?!"

"Thank you. For worrying about me, for coming to my rescue, and for reminding me that at times, I can be a bit of a compulsive idiot."

"Mitsuki," he spoke my name with the same familiarity, but the sadness it was tinged with surprised me. "I… I've never been so terrified in my life," the statement was so brutally honest and sentimental that it actually shocked me.

"If I hadn't been there…Mitsuki… what if I wasn't there?"

"But you were there… you did save me…"

"I was there this time Mitsuki, but you need to know, I won't always be around."

"I'm sorry for my previous behaviour,"

"You got jealous." He froze for a moment before shaking himself free and glaring at me.

"I'm an Uchiha. We don't get jealous."

"Mitsuki?" It might sound silly, but I never got tired of the way he said my name. I'd never been particularly attached to my name, and it wasn't anything unique or special. There were lots of girls named Mitsuki… but when he spoke that seven lettered, two syllable word…I'd hate to be called anything else. I glanced up at him, like I always did when he said my name…eager for him to say something else, to speak another word. Maybe it wasn't my name… maybe it was just his voice in general. "Do you remember when we first met?"

"The truth is Mitsuki…I needed you." His eyes shifted to the lake, skimming over its smooth surface. "I was a prodigy before I even knew what the word meant. I excelled at everything, I surpassed everyone's expectations and instead of making them happy… they wanted more. It wasn't good enough that I managed to become a genin so young, or a chunin or even a jounin. Sure being in the anbu was a start, and perhaps being a captain was progress too, but what else can you do? There was never ever any pleasing anybody. There was always another mission that I had to complete or another meeting I had to attend and then…there was Sasuke." A smile graced his lips, slow and purposeful. "He was my silly kid brother who was just… he was just proud of me. He always looked up to me, and asked me to spend time with him. Sometimes to train him, other times to just simply… exist. It was so…refreshing, and so easy. I never had to put up a guise in front of him, I could just be myself. In a strange way, it was like having my first real friend. But then I was always so busy, I never got to spend enough time with him… and then they…" He glanced at me then, a sudden shift in his vulnerability. "I was assigned a mission, one that put a lot of things into question, and I had to begin pushing Sasuke out." He'd never spoken the words aloud before, nor had the notion ever really seemed to cross his mind. It seemed like it was almost painful what he was telling me, and yet the information continued to pour from his lips.

"I did at first without being aware of it, slowly spending less time with him, distancing myself. Then he called me out on it, insisting and it hurt… Mitsuki it actually hurt to push myself away from him. I'd never cared about anything quite like Sasuke, and it was like ripping myself in half trying to decide between the village and him. That's what it felt like…" I wanted to ask him what sort of mission he was referring to, how anything could've allowed him to remove himself from his brother. "And just when I felt like I'd lost myself… like I'd been given too much to handle that once I went through with it I'd lose myself completely, I found you." His gaze was back on me, his eyes almost feverish, and slowly, achingly slowly, he moved his hand up to cup my face.

I'd never been so still in my life.

"Mitsuki." He stared at me then, his expression resigned. "I've wanted nothing more to protect you, and because of that… I'm going to hurt you more than anyone else ever has."

"Even if you do hurt me…"

"Which I will." I laughed, waving it off.

"Even if you do betray me…"

"Which I will."

"I wouldn't hate you."

"You wouldn't?" I shook my head, slowly back and forth.

"I wouldn't."

"How do you know that? There's no way you could be absolutely sure…"

"Yes there is and I am."


"Because you can't hate someone you're in love with." Then I kissed him again.

"What if I massacred the village. The entire village. Everyone."

"That would be insanity."

"Could you still love me them? If my hands were stained with that much blood, could you still bare to hold them?" There was something dark about how poetic the notion was, especially with how sardonically he said it. No, the Uchiha wasn't one for hand holding but I understood the sentiment anyways.

"If you mindlessly killed the village? I'd get you checked out first, but sure."

"I knew it wouldn't last, that it had to end… but… this was nice. You were a welcome change, but I imagine it's time to say goodbye. Don't you think?"

"Itachi… would you stop it? You're starting to freak me out."

"I never wanted to hurt you in this. I knew that we'd get to this point eventually, but its surprising how fast time went by. I won't let myself regret you, but you'll regret me no matter what I do. You shouldn't have to pay for my selfish choice."


"Didn't you wonder why I always insisted on secrecy? Why I kept insisting we meet here and not elsewhere, why so few people are even aware that we're even acquaintances?"

"Itachi… what's going on?" There was a part of me that wanted to look away, but for some reason my gaze was focused on his spiralling orbs.

"I knew this would come, that It would need to happen. I'm going to kill a lot of people and the last thing I want to do is to have you carry the burden along with me." I watched then, absorbed in his eyes as his sharingan seemed to morph, the three dots seeming to connect, an awkward triangle of sorts. His words weren't lost on me.

"Kill? What's… what's going on?"

"I told you I'd never cast a genjutsu on you using my sharingan, but these aren't the same eyes they were before. I'm going to do you a kindness Mitsuki, and save you like I can't be saved."

"Don't do it…" His lips tilted upward, his eyes softening.

"I have to. It's for the best. I've kept trying to push you away, and you've somehow managed to keep moving closer. If you take another step… I know I'll lose the will to keep pushing, because I know I want to let you in and I know that I can't. So… it's best if you forget…"

"You killed them, I know you did, so why aren't I afraid of you?" I knew he should've been dangerous, but seeing him weep over his brother's body… I knew there had to be something going on… something more. "I should be struggling trying to escape, to avert my gaze… and yet… my hearts racing and it's not out of fear… what… what'd you do to me?" Part of me wondered if I was under a genjutsu, if he'd cast it the moment I saw him and all of my feelings were caused by a few hand signals I hadn't noticed. I knew it couldn't be true though, the look in his eyes made it obvious that my words had caught him by surprise.

"Mitsuki…" he said my name with such sadness, such tenderness that it made me nervous how intimately the word sounded leaving his lips. He knew something… he knew everything. "You're not afraid because I didn't want you to be… I never…" I noted with an odd fascination that I wasn't struggling beneath him. I could've had a chance at escape if I tried now, he was so enraptured with his thoughts that the opportunity was there… the only issue was that I wanted to know what his words would be. "You weren't supposed to be here… you're never where I need you to be." He frowned as he removed his hands from me, and slowly moved a strand of my hair from my eyes. The rational part of me knew that I should've flinched, or moved back, but I leaned forward. My mind may've not remembered this but my body did. "You raced in here and yet you have no chakra. You gaze into my eyes knowing their my strongest technique. Mitsuki… why must you be so reckless?" His gaze was warm and kind, I knew somehow that he cared for me and that somewhere deep down I cared for him too.

"Please… I want to remember. I need to remember. What are you to me?" His hands moved closer to stroke my cheek, and I leaned into him again. A part of me felt sickened for a moment. I knew what this man had done and yet for some reason I moved towards his touch, almost craving it. I felt my eyes water and I hated myself even more. What kind of shinobi was I? How'd I become so useless?

"I've lost too much Mitsuki, I've got too much blood on my hands and I won't add you to the list. You'll always be reckless and careless, and now I won't be there to protect you. I'm sorry for what I've done to you… and for what'll happen to you after, but know I did it… to keep you safe." His words didn't make any sense to me, but he grabbed the back of my head and moved my face closer to his, pressing his lips to mine in a fashion too desperate to be considered romantic. "Do you think this would be a fair punishment for my crimes? To protect my village, I must have those I love resent me. I must have them hate me…I must have you hate me." His eyes began spiralling and for some reason I was too fascinated too look away, while parts of me were screaming to struggle. As everything around me turned dark, his last words clung to me.

Those… he loved?

The dark room was covered in blood, and I watched the beads of sweat drip down his forehead, as slowly all the pieces settled in before me.

"I remember…" Judging by his exhaustion it was clear what had happened. The mind was too complicated to hide memories one at a time, he needed to remove the blanket on my mind and then recast it.

"For now… but not for long. I'm going to have to make you forget again." I felt trickles of water trail down my cheeks and I realized they weren't coming from me.

"Itachi Uchiha… a huge crybaby, who would've thought…" I felt water escape my own eyes as the truth of the situation dawned on me. I recognized the intense glimmer in his gaze, and knew nothing I said would change his mind.

"Take me with you," he shook his head, laughing bitterly.

"No. I can't protect you… but I don't want you to need protection anymore. I want you to be happy Mitsuki, it's all I wanted. If it can't be with me that's alright."

"I can't be happy without you!" It was whiny and petty but I wasn't feeling diplomatic.

"That's why you'll have to forget me." With that his eyes began spiralling again and I knew that he had regained his strength enough to make me forget.

"I'm going to tell everyone you're a crybaby, unless you let me go." He laughed at my empty threat, moving a strand of hair from my eyes.

"Let me get this straight, you're trying to blackmail an Uchiha?"

"Umm… well yeah. Basically."

"You're dumber than you look."

"Who's the one getting blackmailed?" It was a small smile, and it was quickly replaced by tears. I contemplated looking away from his eyes, but I resisted. "Will I remember any of this?"

"No… all you'll remember is what I want you too, and you'll hate me Mitsuki… but it'll be easier that way."

"I could never hate you." And with that, everything went dark.

"Mitsuki?" Orochimaru's voice snapped me out of my daze as I was doused in a torrent of information.

"Itachi…" Glancing around the dimly lit basement room I suddenly realized what I'd been forgetting all along, the fog from my mind lifted, the veil opened. "I'm… I'm in love with Uchiha Itachi."

This is it, the final chapter. Please review and let me know your thoughts, you've read a lot of my words and i'd like a chance to read yours.

How was the plot? The characters? The ending? Did you like the little blackmail line, or was it cheesy? Are you happy with the end? Did you enjoy the story? Are you having a good day? :p

Thank you guys again for staying with me for so, and after 75 chapters... this story is finally done.

Some people have asked about a sequel, and to be honest, i don't know if i'll be writing one. I think i might shift my focus to Riddle me that or Artistically tragic, so please review and let me know your thoughts and that as well.