Disclaimer: The characters, items, places etc of Naruto are property of Masashi Kishimoto. These objects are used without permission for entertainment only, not for making money. No infringement is intended.

ShiIta. Despite this fic not being angsty, this pairing has a boatload of canon angst to keep you going for a long, long time. I suppose there is angst by association?

Then I Defy You, Stars

By Nanaki Lioness

"Have you ever read the tale of Romeo and Juliet?"

Itachi lifts a slender eyebrow in Shisui's direction- in one single glance he is able to completely shatter any semblance of intelligence Shisui held for himself at that moment, for daring to suggest that his cousin may not have heard of it.

"Don't look at me like that," he adds crossly. "You're like, five years old. Shakespeare isn't really for your age group, is it?"

"I am twelve," Itachi tells him- words that would have sounded laughable passing through any other twelve year old's lips, but not his. "That tale of woe is quite well known, regardless. Even if I hadn't read it a few years ago, I'm sure I'd have known of it."

"A few years ago? What did you actually do to experience childhood?" Shisui sighs.

"I experienced war instead," Itachi says with finality that should have struck the conversation dead. Shisui stares at him before grinning and pulling his younger cousin to his feet, keeping one hand held as he lightly tugs him away from the riverbank of the Nakano.

"You need to just be a kid sometimes," he admonishes. "When was the last time you did something worthy of your age?"

"Shisui, this is ridiculous."

Shisui ignores him, gaily pulling him along despite Itachi attempting to literally dig his heels into the floor. "No, what's ridiculous is a twelve year old staring at me like I've grown a second head for asking a question about Shakespeare. You aren't even in your teens yet! We need to do something fun."

"I found reading Shakespeare to be rather fun."

"The tale of two 'star crossed lovers' was fun?" Shisui deadpans. "Itachi, you morbid sonofabitch."

Itachi lets himself be dragged; realising resisting is going to lead nowhere. "Why did you ask?" He questions after a period of silence, where the only sound that can be heard is the pattering of their footsteps.

"I just wondered," Shisui shrugs. He still hasn't let go of Itachi's hand despite the younger Uchiha's co-operation. "If you were in that position, what would you do?"

"You mean if my lover had died?"

"Exactly."

Itachi thinks about the question for a long time. Shisui doesn't expect an answer, but he finally receives one ten minutes later. It is quiet and almost lost on the wind, but it is present and he strains his hearing to catch it.

"I would be condemned to death as well," Itachi concludes. "However, I wouldn't take my own life. I would just let Fate take it for me."

"You really are depressing," Shisui chides.

"What would you do then?"

Shisui gives him a huge grin over his shoulder. "I wouldn't let my lover die in the first place," he says with sincerity usually devoid from his tone.

"You could never promise someone that. Even you cannot scare death when it chooses to come."

"Itachi," Shisui says slowly as he stops abruptly. "It's just a melodramatic tale. It's not real- it doesn't need so much thought."

"Why not? People live lives like Romeo and Juliet every day, Shisui."

"And we aren't those poor, sorry bastards," Shisui laughs as he lightly tugs Itachi along again. "Now come on. We're going to do something that kids our age should be doing."

He takes them for ice cream. Itachi hadn't been sure what to expect, but he hadn't been expecting that. Regardless his sweet tooth overrides his desire to decline, and soon he is sharing a vanilla sundae with his cousin.

"Can we put chocolate syrup on it?" Shisui asks, eyes wide and full of wonder. Itachi thinks those eyes wouldn't be out of place on young Sasuke, but he doesn't say it out loud.

"If you must," he consents. "But, Shisui- we are shinobi. We can't just sit around eating ice cream and ignoring war."

"There is no war right now," Shisui points out, gesticulating towards Itachi with his ice cream spoon. "So relax."

"There is no time to relax," Itachi hisses at him. Shisui narrows his eyes in confusion, but the tiny outburst is erased a moment later as though it had never existed. He slathers the sundae in syrup instead, but he files that moment away in his mind for future reference. Nothing Itachi does is without reason.

"Do you know what my favourite part of Romeo and Juliet is?" He asks rhetorically. Itachi glances up and waits patiently for him to continue. "It's when Romeo calls up to Juliet's balcony and they talk. How about you?"

Once again, Itachi takes his time in choosing a reply. He doesn't give one until they've left the parlour, his voice once again quiet.

"When Romeo speaks with the apothecary," he says. "He says he is paying the man's poverty, not his will."

"Trust you to like something like that. Why that part?"

"Romeo is not a morally corrupt man," Itachi remarks. "Yet he purchases poison by manipulating somebody's need for money. It's wicked and yet lamentable."

Shisui can't help but feel that his cousin is speaking cryptically, but he doesn't have enough evidence to say otherwise, so he leaves the subject alone. "Yeah, yeah. You know, I was hoping you'd have concentrated more on the romantic side of things."

"And why would that be?"

"Because the reason I brought it up in the first place is you," Shisui admits before he turns and kisses Itachi. He is only fourteen himself, so the kiss is inexperienced and open mouthed like a fish, but Itachi slowly reciprocates. He, too, is young yet he manages to guide them both into something that resembles a decent enough first kiss.

"So to confess you brought up the most tragic love story of all?" Itachi asks, lips twitching slightly into a smile of amusement. "Shisui- you worry me sometimes."

"If the relationship starts on the words of the world's most tragic tale, the only place it can go is up," Shisui promises before they share another clandestine, chaste kiss beneath an audience of only stars and moonlight.

-.-.-

Author's Notes: I wanted to write something lighthearted about these guys, but even though this is (sort of) light, it's drowning in angst BECAUSE IT'S SHISUI AND ITACHI. Enough said.