Yaoi (Boy x boy relationships) don't read if you don't like.
AN: This story is completed on other sites. I'll be updating it on this site every week or so. It is AU and set in ancient Egypt. No Flaming please, I will just ignore it and continue doing whatever I want anyway. Some of the mythology is actual mythology and some is my imagination. If you have questions about anything, please feel free to ask but I do not answer anonymous reviews so if you want an answer you have to sign in :P
The Weight of the Heart
"Is it true?" asked Isis as she turned to her son, Horus.
Horus didn't answer but merely nodded his head in affirmation. He knew the news would break his mother's heart. She was the goddess and mother of all kings and yet, now one of her worst fears was being realized. One of her own was dooming the weight of his own heart with every act of violence he committed.
Upon death, all were brought before her husband, Osiris. Their heart was placed on the scale of Anubis and weighed against maat, the feather of truth and justice. If the heart balanced evenly with the feather, then the deceased was found worthy and passed into the Fields of Hetep and Iaru. However, if the heart was found heavy, the scale would sink and the heart would be eaten by Ammit. It was in essence, the destruction of an unworthy and corrupt soul.
"I must speak with Anubis." she whispered and rushed from the throne room to find the jackal headed god that escorted the dead before her husband for judgment.
"Mother…" murmured Horus sadly.
Horus watched his mother stride from the throne room in search of Anubis. He knew that this particular heart was more valuable to her than many others. The human that held this heart was one of her personal creations. As close to a son as she could get without birthing him herself. She had stood at the pottery wheel of Khnum and dictated every aspect of him to the ram headed creator of kings.
Rising from his kneeling position, Horus followed his mother at a slower walk. He knew what Anubis would say. If word had reached Horus then he was nearly positive that even if Anubis altered the scales, it would make no difference in the end. This man was doomed and his mother was only extending her sorrow.
"Anubis!" cried out Isis, the pain in her voice evident.
"My Queen." bowed Anubis.
"It has come to my attention that one of my beloved children will be unable to pass the weighing of the heart upon his death. I need to know if you can adjust your scales." she pleaded.
"You ask a dangerous boon. There are reasons that unworthy souls are destroyed. Should they contaminate the Fields, more than just the one soul would wither." said Anubis in a hushed tone.
"I realize that but I can not bear to watch his heart be eaten by Ammit." she whimpered.
Anubis felt his heart twinge slightly at the sight of her tear filled eyes. To even consider such a request went against his very core but he couldn't resist the pleading look in her eyes. She rarely asked anything of him. While many approached him with their own requests over the many millennia, Isis had never asked a boon. To now witness her approaching him with such a request saddened him. Humans were the bane of creation. He instantly hated the human that had caused such grief in the noble queen's eyes.
"Come with me." said Anubis, offering his arm to the queen.
Anubis escorted Isis and Horus through the many corridors of the palace of the gods. Each god had his or her own domain. Rarely did one venture into that of another without cause. Osiris and Anubis were the only gods with full admittance to all aspects of this realm. Both were closely tied to death and as such were admitted to every realm. Death was a part of life and every other god governed some aspect of life.
The deeper they walked, the more apprehensive Isis became. She was largely out of her territory and nearly powerless. Anubis was her only lifeline and she clutched at him with all her strength.
"Peace, my Queen. You need not fear. We are in the realm of Thoth. He will not harm you." comforted Anubis.
At the words, Isis eased her grip on her escort's arm and allowed her gaze to scan the corridors. The walls were graced with some of the most beautiful scribed hieroglyphics and images that she had ever seen. To stand before such images, even for an immortal being such as herself, was humbling. Even her son, Horus, seemed entranced by the artwork.
"Thoth, you have a visitor." announced Anubis.
From the shadows of a towering scroll stand stepped the ibis headed god of wisdom and scribes. His small head tilted to the side in curiosity as he stepped forward and bowed to the queen.
"Your majesty, to what do I own the honor of such a visit." bowed Thoth.
"Queen Isis has made a request of me and I would like to see your scrolls on this individual before I can make any decisions." explained Anubis.
"I see, who am I looking up?" inquired Thoth as he strode to his scribal stand and opened what appeared to be a blank piece of parchment.
Anubis turned his eyes to Isis. She bowed her head and thick silken hair fell around her face in a midnight waterfall. She was stunning and more than deserving of the title of Queen. Tears pricked her eyes as she whispered the name.
"Prince Itachi, son of Uchiha, son of Tutmosis III." whispered the queen.
Thoth nodded his head and began to write on the blank parchment scroll. Before her eyes, detailed descriptions of his deeds and accomplishments bleed onto the white scroll. Her greatest fear was now written in the red ink of Thoth for all to see. The scrolls of Thoth never lied. Her child was doomed. Even the scales of fate could only be altered so much.
"All is lost." cried Isis and buried her face in the chest of her son.
Anubis refused to believe nothing could be done and began to read the scroll of Itachi. It looked grim but he was young and his destructive path could be changed. The question was how. Glancing at the weeping queen, Anubis felt his lips pull back from sharp teeth. He would save the child of his queen even if it cost him his godhood.
"Thank you, Thoth." nodded Anubis.
"I am sorry that I could not be of more assistance. My lady, you are welcome in my realm any time you wish it." bowed the scribe before disappearing once again in his great shelves of scrolls and knowledge.
Anubis escorted Isis and Horus back to the great throne room and barricaded himself in his on realm, seeking a way to save the heart of Prince Itachi and once again see happiness on the face of his queen. Hours passed like seconds. Despair began to set in his heart. Try as he might, Anubis could not find a way to adjust the weight of the scales so that Itachi's heavy heart would balance with maat. It seemed hopeless.
Anubis looked up to see the light and joy of his life walk into the room. Hair of sunshine and skin tanned from many hours spent in the Fields, the young man approached the fearsome jackal with a carefree attitude. The only visible sign of his heritage were the three black whiskers on each cheek. As kind and gentle as he was handsome and wise, the son of Anubis was cherished by all that met him. Around his neck, the boy wore a solid gold necklace from which a beautiful blue crystal dangled. The crystal was the only one of its kind and was a symbol of Anubis's love for his son.
"Naruto, come here." intoned Anubis.
The slender boy approached the fearsome god with no fear or trepidation. To Naruto, Anubis was simply his father. Settling at the feet of Anubis, Naruto waited patiently for his father to explain the reasons for his unhappiness.
"Naruto, Queen Isis is very sad. One of her human children is in danger of having his heart eaten upon death. So far lost is he that there is no way I can alter the scales to save him. I fear I have failed my queen." started Anubis, sadly.
"Father, don't despair. There is surely a way to save him. If you can not save him after death then can you save him now?" asked Naruto.
Anubis looked at his son strangely. It was true that the weight of a heart could be lightened during life but it was a nearly impossible task. Once an individual received a taste of the darkness, bringing them back to the light was a difficult task. Only the most determined people could reverse the wheels of fate.
Looking into the blue sapphires of his son's eyes, he saw such a determination help that even he was astonished. Each god was born with a gift and Naruto's was the ability to change people for the better. Could his son truly have the strength of will to change the fate of Prince Itachi? An even more difficult question preyed on his mind. Was he willing to let his only child try?
"Naruto, I have a question for you." began Anubis.
"Yes, father?" asked Naruto.
"It is a difficult task to stay on the road of goodness and an even more difficult task to reverse damage already done. Do you think he is worth saving?" inquired Anubis.
Handing a copy of the scroll of Itachi to his son, Anubis watching with interest as Naruto scanned the contents. His son always believed that there was good in all people. Now it was time to see if his son was willing to put that to the test.
"I believe this man is worth saving." smiled Naruto.
"Did you even read the scroll?" asked Anubis with a shake of his head.
"I scanned it." blushed Naruto.
Anubis shook his head but stood and gestured for his son to follow. They walked silently down the long dark corridor until they reached a large room. Inside the room was a beautifully decorated archway. Naruto looked around with interest. This was a room in which he had never been allowed.
Lights burst forth from the center of the archway in a kaleidoscope of color. The bursts of color seemed to move in a dance of astonishing beauty. Naruto was captivated by the colors. His eyes never left the dance of lights.
"Follow me, Naruto." said Anubis as he stepped into the archway, followed closely by his son.
The priests that tended the shrine to their Lord Anubis burst into a frenzy of excitement at the sight of the terrifying god. Anubis was one of the few gods feared and loved by all for he represented death and the afterlife. Such a thing was both feared and revered. Everyone would be visited by Anubis at some point. It was only a matter of when.
Naruto stepped through and rubbed his eyes to ease the burning that the lights had caused. He watched in amazement as the priests bowed and scraped before his father. Never before had he seen such a show of humility and obedience. It was obvious that his father did not often grace his priests with his presence.
"Great Lord Anubis, we bow before you and await your desire." bowed a particularly extravagantly dressed priest.
'Appears that being a priest is a comfortable position.' thought Naruto to himself.
"Listen carefully, you whom serve me. I present before you my son, Naruto. He is to be treated as a normal priest until he is able to complete the duties I have charged him with. If he should ask assistance, you are to give it without question. He speaks for me in my absence." boomed Anubis, his voice carrying over the entire entrance hallway.
"Yes, my lord." groveled the high priest.
Anubis turned to his son, and pulled him into a warm hug. Bowing his great head, Anubis inhaled the smell of his son, the most cherished of all his possessions. He feared for his son but at the same time he knew that Naruto was the only one in which he could trust this monumental task with.
"Don't worry, father." grinned Naruto.
"I worry because you are my son." growled Anubis.
"I know." smiled Naruto.
Anubis pulled his son into one last hug before disappearing into the glittering archway. The lights flared one last time before fading into nothing. Naruto turned to face the high priest. The room was silent as if waiting in anticipation of what was to happen next. Naruto's stomach answered that question by rumbling so loudly that it could be heard across the entire room.
"Heh, I don't suppose you guys have any food lying around?" asked Naruto with a grin.
An elderly priest laughed quietly and stepped forward. He was dressed simply in a white linen kilt, similar to the one worn by Naruto. Naruto smiled at the man and allowed himself to be lead away into the living areas of the temple.
Itachi, son of Uchiha returned to his rooms as the sun hit its zenith. This was the time of year when the grass withered in the sun. Only those plants closest to the life giving Nile were spared the death touch of the cruel sun. Strolling through the cool rooms, Itachi settled himself on a dais and closed his eyes in weariness. The attacks on his brother and himself had grown in frequency. His uncle, Madara, wanted to take no chances in his accession to the throne.
The smell of the flowers from the garden scented the air with a sweet fragrance intended to sooth the heart and minds of the residents of the palace. Feeling his body begin to relax, Itachi began to drift into a peaceful slumber. To the assassin watching the prince, it was the perfect moment to strike.
Gripping the poisoned blade in his fist, the assassin crept towards the slumbering man. Raising the blade and with a silent prayer for his strike to be true, the assassin plunged the blade downward only to have his wrist gripped in an unforgiving hold. The assassin's eyes widened at the look of pure malice in the pitch black eyes of the prince. The touch of madness that hid just under the surface was plainly visible and the assassin knew that his time left in this life was at its end.
"Did you think I didn't smell you hiding there?" growled Itachi.
Not waiting for an answer, Itachi grabbed the throat of the assassin and slammed him painfully into the wall. Black spots danced before the assassin's eyes as his oxygen was cut off. He dropped the poisoned dagger and began to claw desperately at Itachi's grip.
"Pray to Osiris and Anubis that your soul isn't devoured for I will show you no mercy." snarled Itachi before releasing his grip on the assassin's neck.
The man fell the ground gagging and gasping as precious oxygen once again flooded his lungs. The relief he felt was short lived as his throat was slit by the very dagger he had brought for killing the prince. Gurgling sounds escaped his body as he slumped to the ground. The last thing he saw was the smirking eyes of Prince Itachi as he licked the warm blood that dripped from his pale hand. Everything went dark and the assassin knew no more.
Guards burst into the room to see their prince standing over the dead body of a would-be assassin, his eyes dancing with the joy of the kill. Fear crept into each man that witnessed this show of dark madness. None would speak as they feared for their lives more than the reward that telling such a thing would bring. Prince Itachi might be mad but he was far more devious and intelligent than they. To betray that man would mean more than death. It would mean suffering before he allowed you the blessing of death. No, these men were not foolish enough to throw away their lives for a shiny coin.
"My lord!" exclaimed one of the guards.
"Clean this mess up and send for the royal vizier." ordered Itachi before walking over to pluck a date from a waiting bowl of fruit.
Nibbling delicately on the fruit, Itachi strolled around the room as his guards cleaned up the mess left behind by the death of the assassin. The prince smirked at the congealing blood that had spread across the marble floor. Noticing his own blood splattered kilt, Itachi stripped the soiled garment off and strode towards a chest, from which he pulled a freshly laundered linen kilt.
Suddenly the doors of his room were flung open and his brother, Sasuke, strode in. The younger man wrinkled his nose at the sight of the dead man being carted out of the room leaving behind only a puddle of blood.
"Itachi, are you alright?" asked Sasuke.
"Of course, why wouldn't I be?" answered Itachi as he took another date from the dish.
"You could have been killed. Father would have been devastated, not to mention Uncle Madara would have been given a reason to rejoice." growled Sasuke, worry evident on his face.
"It will take more than an unwashed assassin to take me down." purred Itachi.
"Father needs to be made aware of this most recent attempt on your life." stated Sasuke.
"Then you go tell him. I have business with the royal vizier." smirked Itachi before strolling out of the room towards where the royal vizier waited patiently to obey the will of the young prince.
"Most honorable son of the great Pharaoh for whom the sun rises each day, how may I serve you?" groveled the vizier.
Itachi looked at the man with a barely concealed look of disgust. The slimy man had always turned his stomach. It was well known among the palace that the wrinkly old man enjoyed taking his pleasure with children. The thought disgusted Itachi beyond belief. The man brought offerings nearly daily to the various temples to pay for his transgressions.
'Purchasing his way into the afterlife no doubt.' sneered Itachi to himself.
"You told me that the assassination attempts were over and that you had captured the ring leader of the operation." purred Itachi as he strolled in a circle around the sweating man.
"My lord, the man confessed to everything. I had no reason to doubt his word." simpered the vizier.
"Hmm, I see. I understand. There was nothing that could be done to prevent the attempt that was just made on my life because you made sure that your information was correct." said Itachi.
"My lord! The Pharaoh must be notified of this attempt. Another murderer has risen to take the place of the one that was executed." gasped the vizier.
"My brother is in the process of apprising my father of the recent events. You, however, have some amends to make to me." smiled Itachi.
"My lord, please I beg your forgiveness for inadequately interrogating the criminal." whimpered the vizier from his penitent stance.
"Ah forgiveness, a noble concept. The priests preach such nice pleasantries. Never lie, never raise your voice, never kill an innocent man and your place in the afterlife is assured. But you, you prey on young children and buy your way in to Osiris's good graces with gifts to him before returning to rape yet another child." drawled Itachi.
"I'm begging you my lord. Don't kill me." pleaded the man on his hands and knees.
"Now how much do you tell my uncle and I might let you live." purred Itachi.
"I don't know what you are talking about…" began the vizier.
"Don't lie to me!" yelled Itachi, his voice echoing throughout the hall.
The man whimpered as tears flowed down his cheeks. Standing before him was the man he feared second only to Madara. The aura of madness that dripped from him in a potent flood was nearly stifling. He knew he would die if he revealed his knowledge, be it by the hand of Itachi or Madara, his death was imminent.
"I have been meeting with Lord Madara and he tells me what he wants done. If I don't do as he wishes I will be killed. I had no choice but to obey him." whined the vizier.
"You disgust me and your death would give me the greatest pleasure." smirked Itachi.
"My Lord…you promised you would spare me if I confessed." cried out the vizier.
"I lied." Itachi confessed.
Itachi smiled and the blood chilled in the vizier's veins. This was the smile that spelled his death. He only prayed that his offerings were enough to grant him passage into the afterlife.
"Do you know what this is?" asked Itachi as he waved a bloodied blade before the vizier.
"A blade." whispered the vizier.
"Yes, a blade, and do you know what this blade was used for?" questioned Itachi.
"No, my lord." he answered.
"It was used in an attempt on my life. It is only fitting that you should die by this blade." said Itachi before plunging the blade into the man's heart.
The vizier cried out in pain as blood bubbled from his lips to drip upon the expensive robes that he wore. Blood spread across the front of his robes before he tumbled onto the ground. With his last gasping breath, he cursed Itachi to never be given admittance into the hereafter.
"Don't bother cursing me, old man. I knew long ago that I would never be admitted into the afterlife." Itachi snorted.
"Brother…" murmured Sasuke.
"You heard his confession?" asked Itachi.
"I did." Sasuke answered.
"Hmm." Itachi hummed as he walked towards the large window to gaze at the courtyard below.
A huge commotion seemed to be going on at the nearby temple of Anubis. Itachi narrowed his eyes gazed down into the crowd. Several of the high ranking priests were crowded around someone of obvious importance. Itachi pitied the poor fool that had to deal with all those backstabbing priests. The crowd parted and Itachi felt the breath leave his body. There below was perhaps the most stunning young man that he had ever seen. The slender body was adorned simply with a white pleated kilt and a gold necklace. Delicate muscles were pulled tautly over a slender frame and covered with beautiful tan skin. Though he wasn't close enough to see the precise details of his face, Itachi was certain that they would be as attractive as his body.
"Sasuke…who is that boy?" asked Itachi, mesmerized by the golden creature before him.
Sasuke approached the window and looked down and the commotion. His eyes widened at the unusual hair color of the youth. He looked to be around seventeen or eighteen, though Sasuke was uncertain from this distance. Sasuke glanced at his brother and was surprised to seem him staring intently at the young man. Never had Itachi shown so much as the tiniest whisper of interest in any other being yet now his attention was completely captivated by this one boy.
"I want him." stated Itachi.
"Are you fucking mad? It's obvious that he's of some importance to the temple of Anubis." shouted Sasuke.
"Bring him to me, Sasuke." said Itachi before striding from the room.
Sasuke growled to himself before storming from the room towards his quarters to dress for a trip into the town. His father's illness coupled with the assassination attempts and now Itachi's lust was pissing Sasuke off more than a little. He was a fucking prince, not Itachi's errand boy.
'That boy better be worth all this shit.' grumbled Sasuke to himself.
To be continued~