eyes i dare not meet in dreams

There is only so much Itachi can do to secure the future of Konoha. He slays his clan in cold-blood; whipping his sword towards his mother's neck as she stares at him with tears in her eyes. Itachi wishes he could forget her warm touch and loving voice-but he can't. And at night in the cold Akatsuki caves, he murmers to himself don't cry, don't cry, ninjas don't cry and tries to ignore the burning in his eyes as he wakes from a dream where he is wrapped up in her arms.

He covers himself in his clan-trained stoicism, cold enough to ward away the penetrating questions of the other members of the organization, and patiently pushes himself to finish his missions even when his eyes burn and bleed from overuse and all he wants to do is sleep. He does it because he knows he is a barrier between Konoha and its annihilation-and thats the village he loves, and also where his mother lies.

Itachi carves a groove through the symbol he calls his home, and places it on his forehead.

But wears the necklace Shunsui gave to him, and touches it every time he thinks he is too weary to go on.

Sometimes Itachi just wants to give up. His disease progresses rapidly and his migraines throb to the thud thud of his too fast heart and worst of all, he knows that he can never return to Konoha.

And Sasuke hates him.

He wishes with every bone in his body that this day would not have to happen. He hears nothing that he says as he pokes bloody fingers onto Sasuke's forehead (not today Sasuke, maybe tomorrow). He can only think of the little boy he left in the blood splattered ruins of his district, and the downy softness of baby hairs under his chin as he held his brother for the first time.

Itachi tries to memorise the features of Sasuke's now-grown face, but curses his useless eyes which can only see a blur of memories. He can feel wetness down his cheeks, and he thinks he's crying but he can't be too sure anymore. I'm so sorry, Sasuke. His lungs are failing and his heart is skipping beats. He wants to beg for forgiveness. But Kami save him, this is the path he chose, and until his dying breath, he will walk upon it.



His dying breath comes faster than he thinks.

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

Not with a bang but a whimper.

The Hollow Men T.S. Eliot