My fragile love

At 21, Itachi still doesn't believe in love, or relationships. Until he meets Deidara, that is. But can he save him from the demons of his past? AU, yaoi Ita/Dei

Warnings: Rated M for language, sex, and themes such as self-harm, alcohol and drug use.

I don't own Naruto or any of the characters. They're a little OOC though. Can't be helped.

Other than that, please enjoy^^

Chapter 1

On a peaceful September day, Saturday morning to be exact, Itachi was sitting at his desk in front of his laptop computer, already working on a school project even though the semester had only just started, when his little brother knocked at his bedroom door.

"Itachi, open the door! I need to ask you something."

The young man sighed, but went to open his door anyway. In front of him stood a younger version of himself. Same sleek raven hair, same onyx eyes and pale-white skin, only he was a little shorter.

"What is it, Sasuke?"

Before his brother could even begin to answer, a hyperactive blonde guy appeared beside him and threw his arm around the other boy's shoulders, smiling enthusiastically.

"He finally decided he wants a tattoo!" The blonde exclaimed as he looked up at Itachi with shining blue eyes.

Sasuke glared at him sideways. "Yeah Naruto why don't you shout it louder just to make sure my mom hears it…?"

He scratched the back of his head sheepishly. "Oops, sorry… I'm sure she didn't hear anything!"

Itachi chuckled as he leaned onto his doorframe, crossing his arms. "That's for sure. Or she'd already be yelling…"

Their mother wasn't a big fan of tattoos and piercings, unlike Naruto. Oh, she was really open-minded on almost any other subject. Sasuke being openly in a relationship with the son of her second husband was proof of that.

Yeah, Itachi had a rather fucked up family. His father died when he was six – Sasuke was only one. And a few years later, their mother had met Minato, a man who also lost his wife, and was raising his son, Naruto, alone. They were now married, and all living in the same fancy, big house. And even though there was plenty enough room for everyone in said house, Naruto and Sasuke had been sharing a bedroom for a year now – no matter how fucked up that was, they were only sixteen after all. But they were happy and in love, which was the most important, Itachi supposed.

Even though their mother was very accepting of the whole situation, she was against tattoos. Naruto had a swirl on his lower stomach, the kanji sign for love at the nape of his neck, and he wanted some more but his father had told him to slow down. Minato was tolerant of this, unlike his wife. She did tolerate it for Naruto, but when it came to her own sons, it was out of the question. So Itachi had a pretty good idea why Sasuke was coming to him…

"You need an authorization when you're under eighteen," Sasuke said. "At the store they told Naruto an older sibling is okay."

Well, Itachi had been right.

He sighed again, and pretended to be thoughtful and reluctant. Of course he would say yes, but he would just pretend it bothered him a little at least. But the truth was, he could never refuse anything to his little brother.

"I'll think about it," he finally said.

Naruto pouted, even though he wasn't the one who wanted a tattoo this time. Sasuke glanced down for a moment, and then looked up at him with big dark eyes. Even though he was sixteen, he was still using his puppy eyes trick once in a while. How could anyone say no to that look?

"Fine…" he chuckled, "I'll go with you, if it's not something too big."

He made a little smile. "Thanks! And don't worry, I just want a little one right here." He placed his hand at the nape of his neck. "Same place as Naruto's kanji."

"All right." Itachi shrugged slightly. "Just tell me when you want to go. For now I'll return to my homework…"

"I was kind of…" Sasuke looked at him expectantly again, "Hoping to go today?"

"Yeah!" Naruto nodded enthusiastically. "I called and they said there's a place this afternoon. Someone cancelled last minute."

Itachi raised a brow at them. "I have things to do today…"

"Oh please!" Sasuke exclaimed. "The semester only started a week ago. Things to do? Yeah right. More like game online all day long you nerd…"

"For your information, I was actually doing school work. And you seem to be forgetting that you're currently asking me a favor."

"Ah, that's right, you should apologize Sasuke!" Naruto exclaimed, glancing at his boyfriend, then back at Itachi.

"Pff, he already said yes anyway." He tugged on Itachi's sleeve. "Come on let's just go…"

Sasuke had the annoying tendency to act like a little child again whenever he was around his older brother. Annoying, but endearing at the same time.

Itachi went to close his laptop, quickly tied his long hair in a loose ponytail, and then picked up a black zip up sweater, his glasses, car keys and cell phone.

Naruto ran down the stairs, and Sasuke and Itachi followed more quietly. In the large living room Minato was watching the news channel on the wide flat screen television, and Mikoto was sitting beside him, reading a magazine. She looked up when they walked down the stairs.

"Where are you going?" Mikoto asked.

"Just downtown!" Naruto shrugged casually. "You know, walking!"

"It's raining," his father turned around to look at his son.

No one could ever doubt that these two were related. They had the same tan skin, blue eyes and blonde hair. Their personalities were different though; Minato was a lot calmer. He had explained that Naruto's personality was similar to his mother's, even though he'd never known her since she'd died right after giving birth. It was a very sad story, but at least Minato was able to talk about her once in a while. One thing was certain about Naruto though; he was a terrible liar.

"So what? I like rain!"

Minato raised an amused brow, "You were complaining about it this very morning!"

"I changed my mind okay?" Naruto replied, annoyed.

His father laughed but didn't reply. Mikoto was still staring at them, suspicious.

"Whatever let's just go," Sasuke said as he went to put on his shoes.

Itachi looked at his mother. "We'll be back for dinner," he said simply, knowing that this would make her happy at least. She didn't like it when they ate out, because she cooked such delicious meals for the whole family at home.

She smiled, "Great! Have fun then."

Worked every time.

Outside they walked on the large paved entryway to Itachi's car, a nice black Honda accord. It had been Minato's gift for his 21st birthday. Let's just say his mother hadn't chosen a loser for a husband; Minato had a very high paying job.

As always, Naruto and Sasuke sat in the back to be able to cuddle and make out or whatever.

"You guys make me feel like a cab driver," he complained.

"Sorry…" Naruto said.

He rolled his eyes, and then he started the car, shifted and pulled out of the entryway. It was only a few months old, and Itachi kept it very clean. It was manual transmission, and he'd gotten the hang of it pretty quickly. All in all, he was glad Minato had chosen this car. He drove away from the richer residential area of town, and towards downtown. It was always very busy, especially the weekend since people were out shopping.

He got stuck in traffic a little bit, but at least it wasn't that far. Soon Naruto told him they were close enough to the tattoo place and he could park his car. So Itachi found a spot and took out some change to pay for the park meter, and then they started walking. It was indeed raining, but it was very light rain at the moment, so it wasn't that bad.

They passed a couple of restaurants, and some weird little stores, which Itachi had no idea what they were selling. After a few minutes Naruto stopped, and opened a door for them.

"We're here!" He smiled.

Sasuke stepped in first, and Itachi followed. Actually it was a building with multiple stores inside it. But Naruto led them downstairs, and indeed they arrived in a piercing and tattoo store. There was a cardboard with the name of the store, "Silver", and also picture frames of tattoo designs across the walls. In the first half of the rectangular store were displays with all kinds of piercings. In the back there were a couple of small booths, and also a bigger separate room. In the middle there was a counter with the cash register, a computer and a printer. There was a person with long blond hair sitting on a stool behind the computer. Itachi wasn't sure if it was a man or a woman, because the hair was hiding the person's face.

But then the person looked up and smiled at them.

"Hey! Naruto it's you! What's up?"

His voice was masculine, as well as his body, Itachi could now see. It was most definitely a guy – a skinny, pretty guy with delicate traits and sexy long hair.

"My boyfriend's getting his first tattoo!" Naruto exclaimed enthusiastically.

"That's awesome!" The guy said as he got up to meet up with them. He put his hands in his black hoodie's pockets and shrugged. "Shouldn't be too long." He glanced back at the booths, from which they could hear the dull sound of the tattoo gun. "I think Sasori's almost finished."

He glanced back at Naruto, and replaced his long blond bangs behind his ears full of studs. This also revealed that he had an eyebrow piercing. He was the complete opposite of Itachi's usual type, but somehow he found this guy kinda hot.

"So hey, let me introduce you," Naruto said, "Deidara, this is my boyfriend Sasuke, and his brother Itachi."

"Nice to meet you," Deidara glanced at both brothers, giving a small nod.

"And, Sasuke, Itachi," Naruto continued, "this is Deidara, uh… he's a… how should I introduce you?" He finished on a teasing tone.

Itachi supposed this was some sort of inside joke, because Deidara chuckled somewhat bitterly.

"Yeah I'm still kinda the receptionist/janitor/coffee guy in here. But I'm currently training to become a real tattoo artist, it's just that the guy," he pointed at the booth in the back, "didn't want me to just stand there and look. I can understand I mean, he's getting a tattoo on his ass so… maybe he doesn't want too many people staring." He finished in a low voice.

Even if he'd spoken louder, Itachi doubted the guys in the back would've heard anything. There was death metal music playing in the store, the singer – if you could call that singing – was screaming incomprehensibly and the sound wasn't so pleasant in Itachi's opinion.

On the other hand, checking Deidara out was fun. Naruto and Sasuke started discussing ideas for Sasuke's tattoo with him, and as he listened to the two boys intently Itachi could stare all he wanted.

Now Itachi considered himself as having long hair for a guy – loose it reached about two or three inches below his shoulders – but that Deidara guy was intense. His thick blond hair was tied up, and even then it reached the middle of his back. But somehow that look worked for him. And sure he was skinny, but not too much; it wasn't ugly or unhealthy looking. His grey skinny jeans and black hoodie were tight, and only his red converse shoes added color to his outfit.

But the most pleasant thing to look at was his face. He had deep blue eyes, with black eyeliner, a delicate nose, beautiful lips – not too thin, not too full, and so kissable.

Hmm… Maybe Itachi really needed to go out and have a one night stand soon. Cause here he was getting horny over meeting a random stranger in some underground tattoo place…

Naruto and Sasuke moved over to the computer with Deidara. Sasuke took out a USB plug from his jeans pocket, and handed it to Deidara. The latter put it into the computer and they looked at the pictures together, Sasuke explaining what he wanted. Since he was the one giving his authorization for all this, Itachi figured he might as well look at the tattoo ideas with them.

They were all pretty much small black tribal tattoos, representing nothing in particular. Most of them had circular designs, and Itachi had to admit that would look good and fit his brother's style. Besides, if he had it done behind his neck, it would be hidden by his semi-long hair anyway.

"Actually…" Deidara hesitated, and then looked up at Sasuke, "I really like drawing tribal designs myself, and from what you've explained to me, well it gave me an idea…"

He interrupted himself to turn the computer chair around, reaching for a sketchbook on the other counter behind him. Looking up Itachi noticed there was a small poster hanging on the wall saying Tattoo removal and the picture was a cheese grater.

He chuckled.

Deidara looked at him, then followed his stare and smiled.

"It works."

"Wow... That's pretty cool," Itachi laughed.


Not too bad for a first exchange.

Deidara opened the sketchbook and flipped the pages until he found what he was looking for. He showed them his designs. Immediately Sasuke fell in love with one. It was three tear shaped forms, with thin intertwined lines forming a circle around them, all black.

"You like it?" Deidara smiled, and Itachi thought he looked like a child whose parent had just complimented on his drawing.

Sasuke nodded, "Yeah it's like, exactly what I want."

"That's awesome!" Naruto smiled, resting his head on Sasuke's shoulder.

"So how big do you want it?" Deidara asked, already picking up a special pen and paper to recreate the drawing.

As they discussed the size the other tattoo artist and his customer walked out of the booth. They couldn't see his tattoo obviously, since like Deidara had mentioned it was placed on the guy's butt. Itachi couldn't care less, tattoos weren't really his thing. He found them beautiful on certain people – depending on the tattoo of course – but really not on everyone. Like that other tattooist guy, for example. He had dark red hair, and his face wasn't ugly, but he was wearing a t-shirt and Itachi couldn't even see any skin on his neck or arms; it was full of tattoos. That was just too much.

"Hi Naruto!" The red-head said casually.

"Hey Sasori what's up?" Naruto replied.

"Not much," he answered as he took place behind the cash register, "it's 150$..."

The guy paid cash, thanked him, and then left.

"Konan's still not here?" Sasori asked his colleague.

"Nope," Deidara replied without looking up from his drawing.

"She's so late! What do we do if someone comes in here for a piercing?" The red-head shook his head in disbelief.

"Tell them to wait for her I guess…" Deidara said.

"Can't you talk to her? You're her boyfriend, she'll listen to you, no?"

And with those words coming out of Sasori's mouth, Itachi went through a rather big shock. That blonde guy was straight?

"No. She never listens to me." Deidara said, still focused on his drawing. "You can make him fill in the paper while I finish this…"

"Oh, yeah sure…"

A few seconds later Sasori found said paper and handed it to Sasuke. Itachi read over his brother's shoulder. Basically it said that they weren't responsible with complications with the healing of the tattoo, or if the person changed their mind afterwards, and such things. There was no refund, etc, etc.

"I'm gonna need to see your ID," Sasori said.

"Oh, no he's just sixteen but that's why Itachi's here," Naruto explained.

"Are you his father?" The red-head asked.

"What the hell?" Deidara exclaimed.

Naruto just laughed, and Sasuke and Itachi exchanged a similar confused glance. Itachi had never been told that he looked older than his age so...

"Dude," Deidara told him. "That's his brother, obviously."

Sasori crossed his arms. "Well that won't work. You need a parent…"

"Oh come on!" Deidara interrupted him, "Naruto's a good customer, and it's his boyfriend. Don't be a bitch."


Itachi finally signed the damn thing, and Sasuke and Sasori made their way to the tattoo station with Deidara's now complete drawing. Naruto followed, and Itachi was about to do the same, but he stared when a girl suddenly arrived in the store.

"Hey sorry I'm late!" She exclaimed tiredly.

Deidara shrugged as he walked up to her. "It's okay. No one came in for piercings yet so it's cool."

She was tall for a girl, but still shorter than Deidara. Actually Itachi noticed for the first time that Deidara was quite tall, probably 5'11 or 6... Itachi himself was 6'2.

The girl had blue dyed hair and a lip piercing, and amber eyes. When she took off her jacket he saw that she had flower tattoos all over her arms. Itachi thought she had a strange look. But then again, not only he wasn't really into tattoos and piercings, but more importantly he wasn't into girls.

"Itachi, what do you think?" Sasuke suddenly asked.

Itachi stepped closer to the three others and looked at the back of his brother's neck. Sasori had given him clips to hold his hair.

"It looks great," he said sincerely.

They had only applied the drawing, to give an idea of what it would look like. It was perfectly centered and looked good.

"Cool," Sasuke shrugged.

"You ready?" Naruto asked. "It's gonna hurt a little, but it'll be fine…"

Itachi stepped away again. It was a little too crowded anyway, and he didn't want to be in Sasori's way as he started shooting ink in his brother's skin.

So instead he looked back at Deidara and his girlfriend. He noticed Deidara still had his hands in his pockets, and was just standing there rather awkwardly.

"What is it?" She asked him.

"Nothing." The blond said defensively.

She leaned closer as if to kiss him, but he shifted slightly, obviously a little uncomfortable.

"What's the matter?" She raised a brow at him.

"Konan…" He glanced away, hesitating, "Not here, there are customers…"

She crossed her arms under her breasts. "All right tell me what's wrong."

Deidara didn't reply.

She grabbed his wrist, tugging his hand out of his pocket. She was about to lift the sleeve, but Deidara yanked his arm away harshly.

"Stop it! What the hell?"

"Dei show me your arms." She ordered.

"What is wrong with you? I told you there are customers…"

He shoved his hand back in his pocket and walked away. He ran up the stairs and stormed outside. Konan turned her head and glared at Itachi. The latter shrugged and glanced away, as if to show her that he didn't give a shit. It seemed to work. Anyway, a few seconds later some hyperactive teenagers walked in because they wanted piercings, so she was busy with that for a while.

Itachi glanced back behind him. Sasuke was lying down on his stomach, his head in his crossed arms. He seemed in pain, but Naruto was comforting him, giving him words of encouragement, and rubbing the side of his arm gently.

When Itachi looked back at the front of the store, he saw Deidara come back in. He didn't so much as glance at Konan, who was still talking with the group of young people anyway, and walked up to Itachi. Of course, it wasn't to talk to him, but to look at Sasori's work. As he stood right next to him, Itachi could see that his hair was ruffled by the wind, and he thought it looked cute. He felt like running his fingers through it, to see if it was as soft as it looked.

"Your brother has a good resistance to pain," he suddenly said, "He barely even moves."

"What, most people do?" Itachi asked.

Deidara nodded, but didn't look at him. "Yeah some of them move so much that it's hard to draw the tattoo properly. Some people constantly growl or whine too… that's really annoying," he chuckled.

"They shouldn't get a tattoo if they can't handle it," the raven shrugged.

"I guess… Ah I love this song." Deidara muttered more to himself after a moment of silence, with a little smile on his lips.

Itachi personally didn't see much of a difference between that song and all the other ones that had played before. So he chose not to comment.

"It all seems like an eternity," Deidara started singing along, "this battle between us two, good and evil, me and you. Time has come to step up, and take back what you took from me…"

"You mean you actually understand what they're saying?" Itachi asked.

Deidara's blue eyes widened as he glanced at him. "Of course."

Naruto, having evidently caught that bit of conversation, answered in his place. "Don't bother, Itachi doesn't listen to good music."

"The term 'good music' is relative, Naruto," Itachi replied.

"Ah, well, once you're used to it, you can understand pretty much everything," Deidara explained.

He raised a fine brow. "I think you shouldn't have to 'get used to it' to be able to enjoy the lyrics of a song the first time you hear it."

Deidara frowned. Looking closely Itachi noticed that his eyebrows were delicate and pale just like his hair. Even his eyelashes were blonde.

"Metal lyrics are better than lyrics from any other genre of music in my opinion."

"And on what do you base your opinion?"

"Are you kidding? Listen to pop music and try telling me that's deep and meaningful."

"He's got a point," Naruto chuckled.

"Please don't make me laugh guys," Sasuke said in a pained voice.

"It's almost finished," Sasori reassured him.

Itachi rolled his eyes at Deidara. "You chose the worst example. Dance music. Of course it's not gonna be meaningful lyrics. It's for people dancing in clubs. They're mostly drunk, wasted; they just want a good beat to dance to. If I'm in a club partying, I don't want to hear a song about my life fading away or whatever…"

"Wow, you make clubbing sound like so much fun, now I really want to go," Deidara said sarcastically.

They were looking at each other in the eye, and slowly leaning closer without even realizing it.

"Well maybe it's better than sulking in your room listening to emo music all the time."

"Wow, that's the best you can do? An emo joke? You're probably disgusted by my style indeed, mister cashmere sweater and Dolce & Gabana glasses," Deidara replied.

Itachi had no idea if he'd really noticed or if he'd guessed right. Oh well… he just realized he had indeed forgotten to take off his glasses. His eyesight wasn't that bad, so he pretty much only wore his glasses to drive, or during class if he was sitting at the back. But taking them off after hearing that would have been lame, so he kept them on.

"Anyway," Itachi finally said, "all I'm saying is that there're different types of music for a reason. There's no point in comparing your lyrics with dance music as an argument to say it's better."

Deidara's blue eyes narrowed as he glared at him. "All right fine, for the dance clubs I get it. But what about people who constantly listen to that crap in their car? They're not wasted, and certainly not dancing."

Actually, Itachi agreed with him on that one. But he wanted to continue arguing. It was kind of fun to see the other getting worked up over a stupid argument like that.

"So what? If they like it, who are you to judge them? You think your music is better, but what's the point of beautiful lyrics if most people can't even understand them in the first place?"

"Like I said, you get used to it in like, no time, when you just take the time to listen…!" Deidara exclaimed, but he was interrupted by Naruto.

"Am I the only one who thinks their conversation is retarded?"

"No," Sasuke said.

Deidara snapped out of it, and he stepped back, glancing away. He ran his fingers through his hair nervously, loosening his hair tie.

"Whatever man… what music do you listen to anyway?"

"I don't really like listening to music to be honest."

"What?" Deidara's eyes widened. He was looking at him as though he were the monster of his childhood nightmares come true. "That's impossible."

"I find it distracting. But you know what?" He made a little amused smile. "Maybe I'll actually start listening to music more often, just so that I can have better arguments with you."

"You're fucked up Itachi," Naruto said.

Deidara looked at him curiously, but didn't reply.

On the meantime Konan had finally led her customers to the other room to do their piercings. As for Sasori, he was finished with Sasuke's tattoo. They all looked at it. Deidara looked the more pleased; well, it was his design after all.

Sasori put a bandage on it, and then he explained how to take care of it. But in the middle he interrupted himself.

"Why don't you explain the rest Deidara? It'll be a good practice."

"Sure." Deidara smiled, and looked at Sasuke. "Well he pretty much said everything already. Only other thing would be no exposition to the sun. But summer's over so I guess that won't be a problem. And… yeah once again, it's very important not to scratch it. It can get itchy when it's healing but, no scratching."

"I'll give him advice anyway," Naruto shrugged.

"All right let's go at the cash… Sasori?"

"Sixty's fine…" The red-head answered.

"Cool, it's the minimum so," Deidara shrugged, "since it's small…"

Sasuke paid cash – Itachi realized the words "cash only" were written in front of the counter, so it made sense – and Deidara thanked him.

"Naruto already has our number." He shrugged. "So if you have any questions… don't hesitate!"

"Can I call?" Itachi asked mockingly. "I mean, if I want you to quote some more metal bands lyrics for me?"

Deidara glared at him. But Konan replied in his place as she passed behind him to go get a piercing in the display.

"Don't get him started on his damn music… you'll never hear the end of it."

The blonde stopped glaring at Itachi in order to glare at his girlfriend instead. But she didn't return his glance.

"Don't listen to them," Naruto said, "they don't know what they're talking about. Metal's awesome."

"Anyway, I guess we should go. I mean you did tell mom we'd be back for dinner…" Sasuke said.

"Yeah sure. Bye Deidara," Itachi said, looking him in the eye.

Flirting technique number one. To simply say the person's name while looking at them in the eye. No, really, Itachi had no idea what he was doing.

Deidara only glanced back at him, expression a mix of annoyance and curiosity.

"Dei come help me clean up will ya?" Sasori asked from his station.

"Yeah sure."

Itachi glanced back at the blond one last time before leaving. Deidara happened to be looking right back at him at the same time. How cute.

"Oh well, it was amusing after all," he said once the three of them were seated in his car.

Maybe he really would ask Naruto for that phone number…