I Promised

[Uchiha Itachi]

Heartbreak seemed to be my forte. With my heart and with others. It didn't seem to matter how hard I tried to spare the feelings of those around me. In one form or another, I was a traitor, a heartbreaker and a disappointment.

Rain pattered solemnly against my window. I could feel the cold glass against my forehead. My breath fogged up the window, preventing me from seeing outside, but that didn't matter. I didn't want to see outside. I didn't want to know if the kids were running around outside and splashing through puddles. Most of all, I didn't was to see him.

Sasuke.

He seemed to always take a walk when out in the rain, and I hated seeing him. He reminded me too much of his older brother. He reminded me of the one and only person to ever claim my heart. The one who broke my heart.

Itachi.

My heart clenched painfully at the thought of his name. I could feel the mixture of emotions boil up inside of me. It'd been years. 10? 11? To be honest, I had lost count. All I knew is that he was there one day and gone the next. He sent me into this negative spiral of heartbreak and hatred.

The sound of the rain suddenly picked up as the slight drizzle began to turn into a fierce storm. A small, practically invisible smile crossed my lips. It seemed almost fitting that a storm like this would happen on the eve of my birthday. It was as if the heavens felt the pain I'd felt.

I'd be twenty-one tomorrow. Tomorrow would be the day that Itachi promised me he'd return to be with me. But I didn't believe his words. Not anymore. Not after he'd single handedly ruined my life without even trying.

"I'll be back for you. If you wait for me, I will see you again on the day of your twenty-first birthday. That much I promise to you."

A bitter laugh escaped my lips at the thought. His words were what got me through those few months. They made me resent his younger brother. For years I hated Sasuke. I wanted to inhibit his ability to gain strength. I wanted to prevent him from achieving his goal and killing his older brother.

But now… Well, now I feel differently. I've gone on occasion to help him train. Let him achieve his goal. It's not like Itachi deserved to live.

No, I couldn't say that. I wanted to. I wanted to believe that I meant that, but I didn't. I came home feeling endlessly guilty after helping Sasuke train. I may hate Itachi for all he's done to me, but secretly, he still has my heart. I know it, and I'll be damned if he doesn't know it, too.

I was a traitor for being in love with a traitor. I was one because I believed- and, against my own will, hoped- that he would return one day. I was a disappointment because I turned down guy after guy. All of who would treat me right and love me properly. I was a heartbreaker simply because I'd had my heart broken.

I was everything negative simply because I'd been a part of something so positive- love.

If you ask me, life isn't supposed to work like that. Hate shouldn't lead to love, and love certainly shouldn't lead to hate. The two were complete opposites of each other and, in my opinion, should stay completely separate from one another.

A knock on the door behind me startled me out of my negative thoughts. I turned to the door and stood up slowly.

"Who is it?" I called, stepping closer.

"Who do you think?"

Another small smile crossed my lips as I open the door wide to reveal one of my closest friends, "Kakashi, what are you doing here?"

His visible eye wrinkled in a smile as he stepped inside my house, shutting his umbrella and leaving it on the front porch, "Well, I figured you'd be busy tomorrow so I wanted to come wish you a happy birthday early."

"Arigatou," I smiled, "But why would I be busy tomorrow?"

"Well, you know," He scratched the back of his head and looked anywhere but into my eyes, "tomorrow is your twenty-first birthday."

I raised an eyebrow, "So?" He looked me in the eyes finally, his visible eye slightly crinkled into what I had come to know as an embarrassed smile, "Oh, come on!" I muttered, shaking my head, "You don't seriously think-"

"-I do think so," He cut my words off swiftly with his own, "In fact, I'd be honestly surprised if he didn't. He wouldn't leave you like that."

"He already did!" I bit out through clenched teeth and a tight throat, "He left me years ago, along with everyone else."

Kakashi reached his hand out to rest if on my shoulder. This action had always calmed me. It had been the way Itachi used to acknowledge my opinion or feelings. If his hand was on my shoulder it meant that he listened to and cared about what I said or felt.

"He promised you he'd come back."

I spun sharply on my heels, turning my back to Kakashi and causing his hand to fall to his side, "His words are bullshit," my voice came out as a hoarse whisper, "They always have been and always will be."

Kakashi sighed heavily, "I guess we'll find out tomorrow, won't we? You waited for him, so he should come back."

"I don't even know what I'd do if I saw him again," I muttered lamely to my feet.

A mischievous chuckle escaped his lips, "Cry, go weak at the knees, fall into his arms and be with him forever."

"Ha-ha" I muttered sarcastically, despite the smile on my lips.

Kakashi always knew how to make me feel better. Usually I was grateful for it. But there were times where he reminded me too much of Itachi and it hurt.

To be honest, I saw a little bit of Itachi in everyone around me. That's the reason I have isolated myself from most people. But those few do exist, like Kakashi, who refuse to let me give up everything to relive memories and wish on nothing.

"We'll see who's laughing tomorrow," Kakashi muttered into my shoulder as he hugged me from behind, "Anyways. I have to go meet the Hokage. I have a mission soon. Happy Birthday. Celebrate. Be happy. Please."

I turned to face him slowly and hugged him back, "I'll try. Be safe on your mission. I don't want to have to come kick your ass if you get hurt. And Kakashi?" He stepped back and looked at me, "Thanks."

He nodded, a smile slightly visible under his mask, before disappearing. I sighed once the small amount of smoke had cleared. I knew he was right. I should try and celebrate tomorrow. After all, how many times do I turn twenty-one?

With another sigh I turn to the closet behind me and pull out my coat. With it raining this hard, not many people would still be out. It was also my favorite weather to go out in. I opened the door and stepped out into the rain slowly. I pulled the hood of my jacket over my long black hair and smiled.

It was pitch black out and I assumed that it was closing in on midnight. Kakashi always came over late at night due to training his team. As I walked through the streets I realized I was right- nobody was out in such pouring rain. It was the perfect time for me to go out and try to let all these negative thoughts wash away with the rain.

I tucked my hands safely inside my pockets and ventured out into the pouring rain. I could feel it beating against my back in what felt almost like a massage. The rain was warm as was the air. Realizing this fact, I pulled my hood off, closed my eyes and turned my head up to the sky. I let the water soak into my hair, clothes and skin.

Once fully drenched, but also content, I opened my eyes and turned them to face forwards. I blinked a few times, trying to clear my eyes. Was I seeing things?

In front of me a shadowed figure stood. It was taller than me and still a slight distance away. I couldn't fathom who would be out at a time like this. I never ran into anybody on my walks in the heavy rain.

The figure began to grow larger as it approached me. In a moments time it was right before me, drenched in rain. I stared up into dark eyes, completely dumbstruck.

"Happy birthday," A low voice cooed.

I knew that voice. It haunted my dreams, stilled my heart and ruined my everything. I hadn't heard it in years.

"I…Itachi?" My words caught in my throat, "What are you doing here?"

Despite the pounding of my heart in my ears and the rain against the pavement, I could hear his every word loud and clear, "I promised I'd be back for you."

"B-but… It's not my birthday yet," I stuttered lamely, unsure of what other response I could possibly have at a moment like this.

A smirk covered his lips, "It's just past midnight. It is your birthday. Your twenty-first one, to be exact."

As his words sunk in, I did the only thing I could think of doing. I cried. I couldn't remember the last time I cried. I didn't even allow the tears to come when he left everything and everyone behind. But suddenly, as he stood in front of me, promise and dignity still in tact, the pain of everything I'd been through caught up to me.

I cried for my broken heart as well as for the ones I broke. I cried for my solitude, resentment and hatred. I cried for having given up faith in Itachi. I cried out of excitement. I cried because I simply didn't have any other idea of what to do.

Itachi's strong arms reached out and pulled me into him. I could feel the heat radiating off his body despite the rain that still pounded down on us. I could feel the hot tears falling off my cheeks as I clenched his shirt and pulled him even closer to me.

"I may be many things," He muttered against the top of my head, "But I'm not a liar. I would never break a promise such as this."

I felt more tears overwhelm me at his words. I felt ashamed for not believing in the person I loved the most. That feeling of betrayal and bitterness that often controlled my heart washed away as the rain poured over both of us.

I stepped away and looked up into his eyes, blinking against the rain that fell on my eyelashes, "I missed you,"

"I missed you," He responded, leaning down and capturing my lips.

I felt my knees begin to shake underneath me as the undeniable feeling of love poured from his lips. He pulled away and I felt myself falling towards the ground. My head spun at the entire situation. But, as I got closer to the ground, I felt his strong arms encircle my waist and pull me back to my feet and against him.

"Are you here to stay?" I whispered meekly.

His dark eyes looked down and locked with mine, "I am here to stay as long as you want me."

"And if I want you forever?"

He captured my lips in a second kiss, securing his arms around me beforehand to ensure I didn't fall again, "Then I will be with you forever."

I felt the tears well in my eyes again as I wrapped my arms tightly around his neck, "Thank you,"

I felt him rest his head on my shoulder and whisper, for the second time, "Happy birthday, love. May it be the start of many wonderful years to come."