Author's note: originally cut from the fic Prelude, where Konan wonders about Itachi and comes to an understanding. I wanted to make that fic gen, so I cut all the smut out. Anyway it's been sitting on my harddrive, so I thought I'd clean it up and expand it a little more :)



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These are the things that happen in one night.

Sometimes it can't be helped.

xXx

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He doesn't protest when her hands make their way to the inside of his cloak; he feels warm and his hands just barely settle around her waist as she gently tilts his face forward, her hand behind his head.

It's a hesitant kiss, delicate, the barest brush of his lips against her own. His breath hitches, and beneath his hooded eyes she can see the sliver of crimson start to turn. Sharingan. She nearly loses her breath as the kiss deepens and he drags his fingers roughly into her hair.

In one savage thrust he's inside her, hard and thick and pulling her face towards his. Their mouths collide, hungrily, clumsily, and all Konan can hear is his jagged breath and the beating of her heart.

Later, she tries not to stiffen when he curls his body around hers, pressing his face against the space between the back of her neck and shoulder.

She knows he won't be there when she wakes up. It will probably be as if it never happened.

xXx

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When she wakes up, she is surprised to still find him lying beside her.

It is still dark in the room, but in the shadows she can still make out the creases of Itachi's face, the tender pulse of his neck and bare chest. This isn't like him. It is reckless, staying here: she knows well enough that what happened shouldn't have, that there can be no love between Akatsuki. Tenderness is a weakness. Bitterly she wonders if it is out of pity, or obligation - Konan grimaces at the thought, because Itachi is exactly the sort of man who would believe leaving post-coitus to be impolite.

"Do you wish me to leave?"

Itachi's eyes open slowly; he wasn't asleep. Konan pulls back, flustered - goddamn Uchiha being able to read her thoughts - when she realizes he is watching her, quietly, waiting for an answer.

It is a strange thing, Konan thinks. How two people can be a finger's breadth apart, but still feel oceans away.

"Konan," Itachi says. Konan glares.

"Do not pity me," Konan says. She turns and pulls the blanket around herself, tight. She stares resolutely out into the shadows, tracing a silent line from the darkened objects in the room. "Just go."

The physical gap between them has widened; it is only a moment before Itachi pulls her back flush against his chest, silently pressing his arm around her.

"I do not wish to leave," Itachi says. Konan stares into the dark and feels her eyes begin to burn. Nagato used to leave; they would make love in the dark, and afterward he would sit at the edge of the bed, staring at his hands and avoiding her eyes.

One hot tear rolls down the side of her face, then another. Her face hardens as she silently fights for control, but he holds her tighter and Konan's resolve weakens. She starts to cry.

"I'm sorry," Konan says. It's embarrassing. She wishes she could vanish, turn to paper and scatter into the dark. "It's been so long."

"I know," Itachi says. She feels him hitch her close, like she's some tender, precious thing he wants to protect. "It has been a long time for me as well."

They stare out across the room, neither one saying anything. Slowly Konan turns, shifting her weight so that she's leaning against Itachi's chest; she kisses the side of his jaw and closes her eyes.

xXx

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The darkness shifts, and Konan isn't sure if it's been minutes or hours that have passed. Slowly her eyes land on the black mark tattooed on Itachi's shoulder; she traces it with her fingers, idly.

"What is this?" Konan asks. Itachi shifts slightly, moving his shoulder away.

"It is nothing," Itachi says. "A mark from my past."

Konan's mouth quirks. "It was rumored you were a part of ANBU," Konan says. "Now I know for sure."

Itachi's body is fascinating. There is a sort of uncensored glee as Konan begins examining him, turning his body the way a child would examine a new toy. She palms his skin, traces the scars on his chest then moves to the muscled line of his abdomen, the side of his hip. Itachi's breath hitches and Konan grins, crawling up onto his lap.

He hardens beneath her, and Konan can't resist pressing her lower body against him. "This is okay?" Konan asks. He nods and a little breathlessly, she shifts so that the head of his erection presses up against her clit; she can hear him panting softly under her weight. She's wet and he's sliding easily against her; lifting herself up, she moves a hand between them and guides him to her entrance.

She drops herself on top of him without preamble, arranging her legs on either side of him. She rocks slowly, her hands lightly falling onto his chest. Itachi's eyes fall closed as her hands softly trace the contours of his face. His lips are parted slightly, and as she rocks she hears him making soft, desperate noises with her movements. There is something almost thrilling examining him this way.

She leans over him, dropping a small kiss on his lips.

xXx

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She wonders if you can make love to a shadow.

Maybe it is her old paranoia, but Konan can't help but wonder if maybe Itachi is a Kage Bunshin; maybe the real Itachi is out with Kisame, being briefed by Pein.

But this isn't a shadow; he's real and he's breathing beside her.

Konan resumes her examination of him. Her hands inexplicably find themselves tangled in Itachi's hair, and pretty soon, she's tugging at the back of his ponytail. Itachi lets her, watching her patiently the way an animal would let a child. The inexplicable memory of her playing with her friend's cat comes to mind. The cat had the same expression as well.

"You always tie it back," Konan says. "I've always wondered what it'd look like." She pulls out the red thread and Itachi's hair falls over his face and shoulders. Konan bites back a laugh. "You look like a woman," Konan says. Itachi smiles.

It's nice, talking to him like this. Before, Konan had always thought Itachi was cold, distant. But here he feels warm and she sees how he smiles with his eyes, and Konan can't help but wonder what went wrong.

They kiss again, and soon Itachi's hands are palming Konan's breasts, his thumbs brushing softly over her nipples. It's his turn to explore now, and Konan holds her breath in anticipation as he begins kissing her skin. He kisses perfect circles by her breast, and soon she feels his lips close dutifully over her hardened nipple.

Konan gasps, and she feels his hand slide between her legs. She's still wet from the first two times they've had sex, and his fingers easily breach inside her. "How does this feel?" he asks. His voice is low and she shakes slightly at the sound of it; his fingers dip inside her, then slide upwards, until soon she feels the pads of his fingertips rubbing hard wet circles against her clit. He kisses her and Konan moans into his mouth. She's close, and she's just about to come when he stops abruptly. She nearly cries out in frustration before she realizes what he's doing; she feels him reposition her legs, the blunt end of his cock press into her opening.

He slides easily inside her, and Konan gasps despite herself. Itachi stops, uncertain.

"Am I hurting you?"

"No," Konan says, and she moves her hips upwards to meet his. "It feels good."

"I am glad," Itachi says. And then, almost breathlessly, "You feel good as well."

His voice is low and she's never heard him say anything like this before - at least, not the first two times they've done this. There first two times, everything was carefully controlled. Even the first time when it was just lust and sensation, Konan never felt that Itachi lost control.

He buries himself into her again and again, thrusting hard and pressing his face against her shoulder.

xXx

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"My brother is still searching for me," Itachi says. "I fear he will not find me."

Konan shifts quietly. It is generally known throughout the rest of the Akatsuki that Itachi had spared his brother to get his eyes. Something about it seemed off, however: she had spoken with Kisame about it once, sitting around a bowl of fried rice and frowning. "I don't get it," Kisame had said. "He could just kill the brat now and get it over with. So what the fuck is he waiting for?"

"Perhaps he wants it to be fair," Konan said. Kisame snorted.

"Tch. If I didn't know better, I'd say he wants to get killed," Kisame said.

Konan's eyes widen at the realization. She doesn't say anything, though: he looks too sad. Wordlessly, Konan kisses the side of his face and breathes against his neck. She knows too well that words offer only empty comfort, and for a man who has not been touched for so long, Konan can only imagine how powerful her proximity must feel to him.

They make love for a fourth time, and when he pulses inside of her Konan hopes he feels some modicum of peace.

xXx

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Morning comes, and when Konan wakes she is alone. Itachi had woken her up earlier, kissing her cheek and holding her close. "I do not want you to think I am leaving," Itachi said, quietly. "Kisame and I have a mission in the East; I must be going soon."

Now Konan wraps the blanket tightly around herself, pressing a palm flat on the space of the bed where Itachi had been. It feels cool from the hours he had left it, but the sheets still smell like him.

It's only later that afternoon that she finds out Itachi has died.

xXx

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When Konan finds out she is pregnant, she cries nonstop for days.

Months pass, and when it rains she thinks of them, Nagato and Itachi and the men she knew as Pein. Dully she traces the bump of her belly, thinking of how two souls can collide together, and then disappear into the dark.


A/N: Like I said, this thing's been sitting on my harddrive for the last few weeks, and I finally got around to cleaning it up and expanding it. Also, I realize the preggo thing is kinda WTF-ish, but dude. That's what happens when you don't use a condom. :P Plus the Uchiha clan's not gonna repopulate itself. Sasuke needs to get busy, yo.