There was something sweet in the air. It was a chalky kind of sweet, different from the sweet smell of a bakery. It was also on the metalic side.
When breathed in, the air stabbed at Itachi's lungs. He coughed sourly, and there was some cold liquid on his lips. He couldn't taste it. He didn't really want to.
He moved his fingers a little, which were very stiff. It hurt a little, but he tried not to think about it. As long as he could move, he felt more comfortable with himself.
Itachi's lips were dry, and his face was cold. He tried to open his eyes, but when he felt they were open, the world was still black. His eyes started to water, which made Itachi start to feel warm. He could move the fingers of his right arm, so he tried to pull the arm closer to himself. The joint was extremely stiff, and Itachi couldn't really muster the willpower to do it. He let the arm lay where it was, barely moved.
He was on his side, it seemed. His left side. His other arm must be under him. He couldn't really feel it yet, but he was starting to feel his toes and legs. He couldn't move them at all, but feeling them was enough to calm him.
Itachi listened for anything around him. He could hear some chirping birds not far from him. He could hear the fluttering of leaves and wings. He tried to turn his head a little, but it didn't exactly work. He got to smell to some pine now. As his sense of smell returned slowly to him, he could smell the workings of a live forest around him.
His mouth was slowly becoming less and less dry. He could taste the liquid in his mouth now. It tasted old and metallic, to the extreme. He wanted to spit, but he didn't really feel like spitting on himself right now. Instead, he tried to open his eyes again. Still, there was only black. As much as his eyes watered, he still couldn't see.
Itachi pulled his legs in closer to him after a while. They were painful and stiff, but he could move them. Movement finally came to his arm, and soon he was curled up in a ball. He could hear so many sounds and smell the forest and animals close to him, and he could move. Cautiously, he rolled over onto his back, allowing blood back to his other arm. Leaves crunched under him. When he breathed in deeply, his lungs slowly expanded. It was becoming easier to breathe, although he throat was sore. It didn't concern him though. He still couldn't see, but he could tell it was daytime because of the birds.
His mind began speaking clearly the longer he just laid there. There were many forests, everywhere, all over the world. So, where was he last he remembered?
But as hard as he tried, he just couldn't remember. He was starting to feel warmth on his face, and he guessed it was sunlight, probably coming through the trees. The sun helped Itachi feel more refreshed. It was the boost he needed.
His stomach felt weak, everything felt weak, but Itachi paid that all no mind. He pulled himself to slowly sit up, and something fell into his lap from off of his head. He hadn't even noticed it was there.
Carefully, with long fingers, he reached down and felt in his lap for the object. He found it almost right away, and it was very cold. It was a piece of long metal bound to a soft but worn piece of cloth. He brushed the tips of his fingers along the metal carefully. He felt out a long slash, then a swirl symbol with two different types of tips coming of different ends. When he traced it careful enough, it felt kind of like a leaf.
Itachi wondered quietly why he had such an odd thing sitting on his head like that. He didn't really recognize it, but it must belong to him.
Then again, who was he? Itachi. He knew that much. He knew his first name. He wondered what his last name must be. He didn't know it. Did he have one?
Now that he was sitting up, he could feel hair on his face. He reached up a hand to feel at his long bangs, then to the back. It was dirty and a little greasy, but he didn't care. It was long, and a small band held most of it behind his head in a low ponytail. He felt his face after he carefully touched at his hair. There were deep lines underneath his eyes, trailing down his face. He had long eyelashes from the feel of it. There was some kind of dried stuff on his chin, trailing from his lips.
That's when he realized what that smell and taste were.
"Blood..." he wondered quietly, his voice a deadened whisper. It was achy and scratchy, but it was a calm voice. On the deep side, too.
His stomach was starting to hurt, and he felt extremely thirsty. His eyes were still black, and he guessed that was just the way they had to stay. It scared him to no end, but he had to try to leave here and find food or water. Somehow.
He tied his special metal band around his waist instead of his forehead and slowly stood up. His legs were really shaky, and he had nearly no balance. If he was in the middle of a forest, how would he get out? There were many different things in forests. Creatures, plants, and sometimes people.
Figuring he'd be less weird looking with his eyes closed, he tried hard to just keep them that way. But they wouldn't stay closed. He wanted to keep them open all the time, like he had sight. Like he was hoping it would just spontaneously come to him. But he knew it wouldn't.
He didn't really have time to be fussy over something like this. He had to start moving, start looking, something. Itachi took a few wobbly steps forward. Every time he took a step, he froze, carefully analyzing the sounds that came from his step. It was mostly just crunching leaves. His breathing was heavy now. He was starting to feel fearful, but he had an unusually strong urge to keep it repressed and trudge forward.
He decided in the end to follow his gut. Itachi breathed in a deep breath, then began walking again. Not even ten steps away from where he had awoken, Itachi hit a tree. With his foot, then his face. He could've stopped, but he felt so disoriented and uneasy. He was very weak, and he needed to find food of some sort. He took caution to feel around the tree with his hands. It was a very large tree. Nothing too special about it. He reached up to see if he could grab a branch, and found one. He felt it carefully, weighing it's strength and how well it was latched on the tree. It appeared frail. Even so, it took a lot of effort for him to rip it off the tree. When it finally came off, Itachi fell back onto his back with the branch on him. He sat up feeling a little pathetic. He proceeded to rip excess smaller branches off of his big branch until it was just a bare stick.
Itachi grabbed onto the tree for support, then hoisted himself up off the ground again. He used the stick as his eyes, tapping it on the ground around him to feel for anything that may get in his way. He wasn't good at this, and he felt kind of foolish as well. This didn't feel right, but he had no choice.
He didn't know where he was going, nor did he care. He maneuvered around anything he found in his path with caution. He tried to be as quiet as possible, but that was even harder than using the stick to see. He didn't know where he was. He began to feel slowly frightened of what the surroundings might look like. What if he fell into water? What would he do? What if he was on some forest-ridden mountain side and fell of some gargantuan cliff?
"Don't be a fool." Itachi mumbled to himself, feeling frustrated with his fear. He didn't like the way it felt in him, the way it bore into his soul and rooted itself there to terrify him further. He knew he had to be strong and just keep moving.
And he wandered very aimlessly for a while. As he walked, he wondered what time it was or how old he was. What he had done. Who he was really, and why he acted the way he did. He was very defensive of himself and his sanity. He wondered if that was normal.
A strong smell suddenly filled Itachi's nose, and he started to gag a little. It was a foul, rotting smell that was coming from up ahead. It got closer as Itachi walked. His stick hit something unlike anything it had hit before. The things on the floor of the forest were all hard. This was somewhat squishy. He felt the thing up with the stick. He found a head, with large hard things attached to it's head. He felt down the body, which was torn open and obviously rotting. He guessed it was a dead deer or moose. Well, deer, most likely. Those hard things were more like antlers on a buck.
What scared Itachi the most about this was that it didn't bother him so much. He felt like it should have scared him, but it didn't. He didn't mind it, even. He just felt his way around it and kept on moving.
Time passed. Itachi felt like he had been walking for hours. What if he was walking in circles? What if he was back where he started? His legs were already aching, and he felt so weak. But he did not even think of giving up on this pointless quest for life. He didn't want to die alone in this forest, where a carnivore was out there hunting deer, and would probably come to eat him if he collapsed or stopped.
The forest was slowly driving him crazy. The stick touched the same things repeatedly. Trees, roots, plants. The same feeling. He couldn't take it. His fear was bubbling up again, but he tried not to let it consume him.
His foot crunched on something at that moment. Itachi stopped, using the stick to feel at the ground in front of him. It was a distinct sound of gravel. He walked further along it until he found where the gravel ended on the other side. He'd found a road of gravel and packed dirt. A road meant life of some sort. Where there was human life, there was food and water.
He almost wanted to laugh out loud. In fact, he needed to. But he didn't. He didn't even smile. He was confusing himself really. He just started following the trail in one direction, not sure where he was going, but happy nonetheless.
Not long after he began his walk, he heard voices up ahead. It sounded like an older man and a young girl. It sounded like they had some kind of cart with them. He understood what they were saying. They were talking about what they were going to have for lunch, when the noise suddenly stopped. It sounded like they stopped the cart, and were keeping quiet. Had they noticed him coming? He didn't know how he looked, but he prayed they would help him.
"Is... somebody there?" Itachi tried his best to speak, and it worked for the most part. His voice was a little more clear.
"My goodness!" it was the voice of an older sounding woman that time.
There was a scrambling of feet towards him, and he tried not to be afraid, even if they weren't right there in front of him. He was hopeful they would help him. He hoped they were kind. Then again, if he woke up in a forest blind, how lucky was he?
"Oh my!" that was the older sounding man that time, Itachi could tell. "Get a blanket dear! This boy looks hurt! My boy, are you alright?"
Itachi felt a strong hand set itself on his shoulder, and he felt a little relieved. It was a strong hand too. It seemed like this man was tall.
"What's the stick for? Can't you see, boy?" the man's voice was unusually loud in Itachi's ear, but he felt comforted by someone at least talking to him. "You've got dried blood on ya! Are you alright there boy?"
"No..." Itachi mumbled in such a quiet voice he could barely hear himself.
He heard two other pairs of feet approach him, and he felt somebody throwing a light blanket over his shoulders. He felt a small hand sneak it's way into his large, weak one.
"Is he coming with us Grandma?" it was a little girl's voice. She was next to him, at his hip.
"Yes, yes. We need to get him to the village." the old woman spoke, taking Itachi's other hand. It was a very warm hand, and the comfort he felt from it was immense. The man took his hand off of his shoulder, and let the woman and girl lead Itachi. He wondered if he had any family. If he did, would they be half as sweet as these people?
"Reach out with your hand dear. You can ride in our supply cart." the woman's voice was kind, but Itachi didn't smile. He wasn't sure why.
He reached out as told and felt the sturdy wood of the cart under his fingers. He felt for the edge, then hopped up to sit on it, the woman making a satisfied noise.
"Can I ride with him? I've been walking all day Grandma!" the little girl's steps on the ground were very askew. She was obviously still very small, and was probably jumped around or wiggling around to show she was tired. Something eccentric. Little children were good at that.
"Alright. Hold onto him so you don't fall. We don't need another broken leg from you, little miss."
Itachi listened to the woman heave the little girl up off the ground and onto the cart next to him. He set his stick on the other side of himself, happy to not have to hold it. The little girl clung to his arm tightly, and it sounded like she was giggling.
"Hold on now." the old man called to them, and suddenly the cart was heaved up from the front and was rolling along. It scared Itachi pretty bad, but he snapped out of it soon enough. He didn't have to walk anymore. He got to ride in a cart with a small girl giggling and running around in it. It was covered and had tall walls, Itachi found as he explored with her a little. He felt up the walls until he felt the cloth at the top over their heads.
The girl entertained herself with different things in the cart. There were multiple barrels and boxes, and she had fun climbing inside them and asking Itachi to find her.
"But I can't see." Itachi said, and was surprised how emotionless his voice sounded just then.
She ignored this, however. "You don't need to see to play!"
Itachi sighed, slowly crawling over and reaching out to touch anything that came in his way. This was really difficult, since the cart was moving. He finally found the barrels and began opening up the lids and reaching inside. She had hidden herself all the way in the back of the cart in the last barrel, Itachi found. He found her when he reached in and felt a head of hair. She squealed happily as he picked her up and pulled her out of the barrel.
"Gah..." he mumbled, brushing grains of rice out of her hair and off her clothes. She just continued to giggle all the while, which made him smile. Finally. Her hair was long and straight, but put up in pigtails. She was very small, wearing a little dress and some open-toed shoes. She was cute. He didn't need to look at her to know that.
"See, you don't need to see to play!" she giggled in a very overjoyed way.
"You're right. Let's not play in the goods anymore, okay?" all this talking was wearing Itachi out. Little kids needed so much supervision, which he couldn't exactly do right.
"Okay, fine." she was very well-mannered, at least.
They sat again at the back edge of the wagon. Itachi let his legs hang off lazily. He kept a hand on the girl's head to make sure he knew where she was.
The ride was very long, according to the woman. Itachi could tell it was nighttime now, because it was cold, and there was no warmth coming from the sky anywhere.
"There are blankets and pillows in the back. Sweetie, show him. You both get some sleep." she advised sweetly.
The girl jumped to her feet next to Itachi. She had been braiding his hair at that moment.
"O-kaaaay!" she hollered, and he heard her wobbly footsteps as she ran to the back to the wagon.
After a lot of noise and rustling items, she came back to him, blankets and pillows in hand. She dropped them all at the back of the wagon, grabbing his hand and leading him slowly back there. The wagon wasn't very comfortable to lay on, but with enough blankets and pillows and a little girl sleeping next to him, Itachi found it easy to relax. He stared up through a hole in the covering in the wagon. He couldn't really stare though, because he couldn't see. He guessed it was a hole, because it was blowing cold air down on his face.
Itachi knew there were stars up there. He just knew it. He wished with all his might that he could see them, but it was all just black. It made him feel kind of lonely in a way. He was locked in his own head, only seeing the black. Was this permanent? What did he possibly do to have this happen, and why couldn't he even remember his own name? The more he thought on it, the more afraid he felt. He decided sleep would be better. Maybe he'd wake up and this would be a dream. That'd be a blessing.
"Goodnight." Itachi whispered quietly, not to the girl though. He wasn't sure why he said it, but he just did. Maybe once upon a time he had somebody to say goodnight to every night.
Well, this is a new fic I'm starting. My other fic, about Kisame, will be a main priority for now. But this was inspired by a song called Tina's Theme by Hyadain. I just had to write it. I hope you like it! Please comment and tell me if I should keep it going. Also, if you wanna see anything happen to Itachi, then ask! ( (c) Masashi Kishimoto)