Disclaimer: Naruto belongs to Masashi Kishimoto.
Ok so this is inspired by the number 6 theme "bandage" from 50_shinobi challenge which I may unofficially attempt to do. XD Anyway this was written MONTHS ago but I never updated it. So I thought that since I have it in my pc and there is some lack of ItaHina fics... maybe someone would appreciate reading this. Anyway, it has been beta reaed by WakaWakeNevermore and I thank her for her work.
So hopefully you'll enjoy this.
Itachi opened his eyes; everything around him was black. Is this how death felt? It wasn't too different from life. He closed his eyes, tired. It was so nice to be relaxed after so many years of agony and guilt. Death was beautiful. He was floating, lying somewhere soft and warm with no yesterday or tomorrow. He had forgotten time. He had forgiven Life. He was at peace.
Suddenly a hand on his body put him out of his thinking.
"Itachi?" A female voice asked. It was nice voice and the hand was soft… like his mother. A nice feeling awoke inside him and he touched that hand and pressed it on his cheek.
"Mother." he said, convinced he had a chance now to be with her again—with everyone again. To say he was sorry things turned out like that. He didn't want to kill them; he loved very much, but the outcome of the rebellion would be disastrous. He couldn't allow the village to be destroyed, neither to see his clan and family become tormentors and tyrants of the villagers. He couldn't stand them being hated.
The hand tried to move away. He grabbed it and kept it close to him, wanting to cry. How long had it been since someone caressed him? "Don't go, mother. Stay," He murmured and felt something warm between the hand and his skin. He was crying.
"Itachi," The female voice said again, firmer this time. "I am not your mother."
Upon hearing those words, he let go of the hand, feeling cold. Where was he? Who was she? He got up immediately and tried to see. He had his eyes open, he knew that, but everything was black. He raised his hands and touched his face. The hand took his hands and a body, the same female's body came closer to him, trapping him into a hug. He calmed down and lay back again.
"Am I dead?" He questioned softly.
"No. You are alive, in Konoha." Another female voice said.
He didn't like it; the voice was cold and distant. He was tired of having everyone away from him, being forced to keep everyone away. Even his little brother that he adored was away.
Alarmed, he pushed the female away—a little more harshly than he wanted—and looked around trying instinctively to find the source of the other female. "Sasuke?" He asked. "Where is Sasuke?"
The first female caressed him again. "Do not worry. He is fine; his wounds weren't serious and he will be in full health soon." She softly helped him lie on the bed again and held his hand. "We have something very important to tell you," She continued a little hesitantly. He turned his head to where her voice was coming from waiting for her to continue. "Well… the thing is… how should I say this…?" She stuttered a little when she spoke.
"You are blind." The other female voice said coldly and uncaringly. "And there are very few chances for your eyes to function again."
He didn't react to her words. He knew that. His eyesight was becoming worse and worse. Now that he thought about it, he couldn't see his brother's face when he poked him and told him his goodbyes, believing he would die there. He would have been very happy if he had died there.
"The good thing we have to tell you is that your lung disease is curable… in a way at least." The same voice said. The female who was holding his hand let go of him. He heard her soft steps as she retreated for the other woman to come closer.
"You need to go through a surgery and you will need to take care of your health, maybe even need to go through some meditation."
Itachi listened to her. He felt hope after so many years of despair. He would live. He could be cured. Well, cured in a way and perhaps live more. Why would Konoha do this though? He was a missing—no, their enemy. Could it be they told him all that, made sure he lived so they could tell him even though they could save him, they wouldn't? They would let him die a painful and lonely death like a criminal, like he deserved?
"Why are you telling me this?"
There was silence. The first female came closer again; her warmth was something he found himself addicted to, even though he had been exposed to it for only a few minutes. "We are going to save you," She told him softly, almost like she was singing him a lullaby.
"Because we didn't do it sooner. In fact, we should have done that years ago," The second yet older woman said as the younger female was caressing his hair.
"Relax… Go to sleep. We will explain everything when you wake up again. It is all right. Everything is all right now." She soothed him and he felt himself get lost in her voice and drifted again to sleep, feeling his chest lighten.
Hinata close the door of his room and then sighed.
From the moment she learned about him—his sacrifice, his torture— she couldn't help but feel a kind of admiration for him. He was a true ninja; so true it made her wonder if achieving this level of perfection was actually something they should desire. They are humans after all, and they did a job which forced them to go against all instincts of compassion and humanity.
The young heiress looked at the Hokage who in response smiled slightly and started heading to her office. Hinata gave one last glance at the door and followed the elder woman.
They walked silently into the office.
Tsunade quickly opened a drawer in which she had hidden a bottle of sake. She sat down and motioned to the young girl to sit as well.
"It's sad," Hinata muttered, feeling a deep sorrow for the young man.
"It is," The Hokage confirmed while she looked outside of the window to the village that one ninja sacrificed everything so would be safe—so nothing could hurt it and its people. She felt a sudden guilt when she realized she had so easily left and drown herself into sorrow after Dan's death. She had given up on this village for a while, not because the village did something but because the village couldn't give her back her lover, the one who had died trying to protect it. She shook her head; she shouldn't let herself become melancholic over the past, for it couldn't change. She should focus on the present so it would not become a sad memory as well. "I think he likes you," She said to the young girl and half smiled.
Hinata blushed and shook her head. "He doesn't know me. It just happened to be me—the one who first touched him—and he had that reaction."
Suddenly the door opened and a blond ninja came in. "Hello Granny," He greeted the Hokage rather loudly and flashed her a smile.
A pink haired girl punched him on the head. "Not so loud Naruto," She told him angrily. She turned to Tsunade and bowed to her in respect. "Hello shishou." She noticed then Hinata who was sitting in a chair and smiled at her. "Hello Hinata. I didn't know you were here."
"Hello Sakura." She blushed lightly as she looked at the blond boy. "Naruto," she greeted shyly and looked down.
"Hello Hinata. It's been a while since we last saw you." To that the indigo haired girl just smiled.
"How is Sasuke?" Tsunade asked Sakura. The look on her face changed into one of seriousness and professionalism. Since his return, she was appointed as his medic.
"His wounds are recovering steadily." She replied. "But I believe he should stay in the hospital for a few more days."
"I see," The Hokage said. After a moment of silence she looked at Naruto. "Have you visited him?"
"Yes," The boy said and an expression of sorrow covered his face. "He doesn't talk to me. He simply refuses to have any kind of interaction with any Konoha citizen. From the moment he learned that Itachi is alive, he thinks of us as traitors."
Sakura looked down sad and slightly touched Naruto's shoulder to show him she understood his pain.
"Granny, why did we have to save him? He clearly doesn't deserve it."
"He does," Hinata said softly.
Tsunade nodded in agreement as the two other ninjas looked at them curiously.
"Why does he deserve it? Because he killed his family? Because he destroyed Sasuke's life? Or because he tried to take me so he would take the monster inside me? He is Akatsuki, Granny! A criminal!" Naruto yelled at Tsunade. "I don't want to lose Sasuke because of him!"
Tsuande sighed and looked towards the white eyed girl. For a moment it seemed like they had a silent conversation, which was odd since the two of them weren't very close. Sure, Hinata had trained as a medic, but her teacher was actually Shizune, not Tsunade. The Hokage was Sakura's and Ino's teacher.
"We learned something about Uchiha, Itachi and the Uchiha clan; something very important," The older woman said to the two young people.
Sakura looked at Naruto and then Hinata. Could this information be the link between the two women? What was it that made them so protective of Itachi?
"What information?" Naruto asked finally.
"We have to thank Hinata's family for that. It seems the Uchiha clan was planning a coup d'état of the village around the time the massacre happened. They wanted to take over the village because they felt that the Senju clan, my clan, had overridden them and they had been used and mistreated." She took a sip of her glass and looked at the village again. "To be honest, maybe we did. We did isolate them and kept them away from positions of power. " She stayed silent after her speech.
"And what did Itachi do?" Sakura asked Tsunade.
Hinata raised her head and looked at the pink haired girl. "He helped the village. He was sent by his clan to act as an agent but in the end he was our agent for the Uchiha. He was ordered by Danzou to kill the clan so the massacre would be prevented. He spared only Sasuke," She said quietly and looked at the ceiling.
Sakura looked at Hinata, then at Tsunade while Naruto stood with his mouth half open, not being able to believe what he just heard.
"Is this true?" They asked in unison.
Tsunade looked at them both and nodded.
"We must tell Sasuke!" Naruto said. He was ready to burst out of the office to run towards the hospital and inform the younger Uchiha about his brother.
"Stop Naruto!" Tsunade ordered strictly.
The boy stopped and looked back at her annoyed.
"We first have to discuss this with Itachi. Maybe he doesn't want Sasuke to know or he may want to tell him himself." She looked at Hinata with a serious face. "I want you tomorrow to have that conversation."
Hinata looked confused. "Wouldn't it be better if you told him, my lady?" She asked the Hokage who shook her head.
"I told you before Hinata; he likes you. Somehow just your touch is familiar to him. It is better for you to have that discussion with him. I will talk with him afterward.
Itachi woke up the next morning feeling sore and thirsty. He felt someone's presence who was familiar, but since he couldn't say who was here just by feelings that person's chakra, he had to ask. "Excuse me" he croaked but couldn't continue due to the pain in his neck.
"You want water?" A female voice asked and after a moment she grabbed his head and she helped him drink. "Are you feeling any better, Uchiha-san?" She asked.
"Who are you?" He asked in return. She checked his temperature with her hand which allowed him to feel how soft her skin was. This brought him an unfamiliar feeling of familiarity. Why did her touch feel so nice, so much like something he had experienced time and time again?
"My name is Hinata, the medic who will be taking care of you," She replied in a soft, melodic voice. "If there is anything you'd like to ask, please feel free to do so. I will answer the best I can except if the answer is something I am not supposed to reveal to you," She told him and he felt her sit at the edge of his bed.
"Are you really not going to kill me?" He asked. He remembered someone telling him he would not be executed, that he could perhaps live. Itachi had accepted that he would die by Sasuke's hands and was fine with it since that was his goal—to make Sasuke seem like a hero to the village and restore the clan without the hatred that had consumed it and eventually led to their downfall. Yet it didn't mean he wanted to die. He would like more than anything to continue living knowing Sasuke was fine and happy once more and the village was safe. He secretly wanted a new start and right now, as he waited for the female to answer him, he knew this desire may become reality.
"Of course, Uchiha-san," She replied. He felt her get up from the bed. "I believe you have offered way too much for the village to kill you. It would be very hypocritical of us," She added after a second and he felt suddenly a little uncomfortable. "We know what happened and why everything happened," She explained, answering his silent question.
"My father informed Lady Tsunade a little before we went searching for you," She replied to him. He slightly narrowed his eyebrows suspiciously. "You are probably wondering now who my father is, right?"
He didn't move, but she could tell he was waiting for her to answer him.
"I am the Hyuuga heiress and my father is Hyuuga, Hiashi. He was involved in the incident—from the outside of course, but he knew the details. And the Third left him with a message which proved your innocence."
"How many know?"
"Few people," She told him and went closer to him to fix his pillows. "Would prefer to sit up?" She asked and after his nod she adjusted the bed so he could sit up.
He relaxed in his new position and closed his eyes, although it didn't matter whether he had them open or not. The world was black nonetheless for him.
"Sasuke?" He asked her. He wondered about his little brother. He was certain they wouldn't hurt him, but he didn't know if he was aware of his well being. Maybe he thought he was dead or alive without comprehending why the village kept him alive.
"He does know that you are alive but… we have not disclosed anything about then," She informed him as she took his hand in hers. Her touch was nice, he had to admit again, so much like his mother at times that it hurt. "We believed it would be more fair for you to choose if he should know about it and perhaps, if you wanted of course, you to be the one to tell him the whole story," She explained to him and caressed his hand. "If you don't want that, then we could arrange for someone else to inform him."
"No," He told her and took his hand away from hers. He slightly massaged his neck; after so much lying, he was so sore, he hurt at many places.
"Oh Uchiha-san please allow me to help you," Hinata suggested and without waiting for his answer, started rubbing and massaging his neck and shoulders softly, pressing slightly a little chakra to help his muscles relax. "I can't say to you that what you did was the best," She blurted out in a very low voice.
He nearly didn't hear her since he was so into the feeling of her hands on his skin and the pleasure and relaxation they brought to him.
"I sometimes think that as well," He admitted to her.
This shocked both her and him; it had been so difficult for him to open up to people, especially to strangers, and yet he told her something like that even though this was the second time he 'saw' her. He didn't even know what she looked like, he just knew that she was warm and soft. And trustworthy, for an unknown reason. It seemed like all his instincts screamed at him to relax, enjoy her and the feeling of comfort she brought to him. It was so weird… why did he react like that towards her?
"What you did was very hard and I doubt many would have the strength to go through with this. Very few people love the village more than their selves or their families. But… I can't help but feel there had to be a more peaceful way to end this. Perhaps if the Third had insisted more or if you had trusted him more and waited…" She trailed off and stopped massaging him.
He turned his head slightly towards where she was.
"I am sorry Uchiha-san. I should have never said that. I didn't want to offend you. I have no right to judge since I know if I was in your shoes, I wouldn't be able to do it. I would just make a mess and then hide somewhere," She said and got up hastily. "I should get going. I am sorry again, I hope you will not think of me as a cruel and uncaring person," She added. He felt her leave the room and close the door behind her.
Time passed and Itachi got better and better. He talked with Tsunade to whom he narrated the entire story and listened to her medical explanations about his condition. She promised him she would do her best to try and heal him. He most likely wouldn't die—soon at least—by his lung disease, but the problem with his eyes was quite serious. Perhaps if he was lucky, he would be able to see again, yet even then he would not be allowed to continue as a ninja. The disease was a serious one and he shouldn't strain himself. He could perhaps work in the academy or something like that; not very demanding physically. Yet for that to happen, he needed his eyesight. Truthfully, Itachi didn't mind being a teacher or even a civilian. He had his share of war and battles and as sure he wouldn't really miss it. He could train to keep himself fit without overdoing it and just for the fun of it, Tsunade had said, and maybe he would.
He didn't know what he wanted.
Sasuke eventually learned what happened; the blond boy, the fox vessel, told him after his request.
He wasn't sure if he wanted to meet Sasuke yet. He didn't want to fight him, nor hear Sasuke accuse him. He was told he didn't react well; he initially told everyone they were lying and that he was the one who wanted to hurt him, that Itachi had somehow deceived them and he was waiting to hurt them when they would no longer be convenient to him. After that, when they showed him the proof of his innocence, he stopped talking, becoming silent and moody again. He had a hard time accepting the situation. That's what Hinata told him once and urged Sasuke to talk to him. He refused. He couldn't understand why he did it.
All these years he was actually living for Sasuke and now he didn't want to face him to try to restore their relationship. It wasn't that he didn't love him anymore—he still was the person he loved the most but… he just wanted quiet and Sasuke would ruin it. He would again have so much guilt about the past and the thing he wanted the most was to move on. In a way he had. He was dreaming of the future again, hoping it would be beautiful and peaceful.
He had discussed it with Hinata once and she even said what he envisioned in life were things she wanted as well. They had come to be rather close; they conversed a little everyday and shared a comfortable silence. She would take care of him, bring him food from her house, read to him books, tell him jokes, answer his questions, change his bandages. He loved the last part. Her hands were so soft and soothing. He was addicted to her hands—not only because of their touch—but as he understood when he touched them himself, they must have a very good shape. He imagined them.
"I need to change your bandage, Uchiha-san," She told him.
He got up so she could work more freely. He relaxed, enjoying this daily interaction they had. He sighed when he finished and lied back again. "Hyuuga-san?"
She turned to look at him and waited for his request.
"Could you open the window?" He asked her politely, in a calm voice. "I feel rather hot today."
She smiled and immediately complied opening the window a little. "It's a very beautiful day," She told him and smiled at the sky.
"With a huge, blue sky right?"
She giggled and nodded. "You like the sky, Uchiha-san?" She wondered out loud, not being able to control herself. "It's so beautiful, like you."
Hearing this remark he smirked and chuckled. "Am I beautiful, Hyuuga-san?" He asked.
The girl blushed deeply. How could something like that escape her mouth? She hesitated for a moment, not wanting to reveal to him her slight crush. It was true, she had started to like him as she got to know him better, spending most of her day with him.
"Yes," She finally answered. "You are a very beautiful person," She explained, hoping he would not catch her crush and that he would believe she meant he had a nice character or something along those lines.
Itachi sighed slightly, feeling sad. She didn't mean she was attracted to him. Why did he feel that? A part of him wondered if he liked her or just the fact she had become a stable part of his life. He had never felt jealousy or anything of that sort in his twenty-one years. For a reason he couldn't comprehend, that girl invoked within him feeling like the protectiveness he felt for Sasuke; the love for his mother and various others, including a slight possessiveness.
He had heard from another nurse she had been in love for years with the blond vessel. Initially, Itachi liked the boy—his optimism and inner strength—but the idea he would have his nurse and keep her away from Itachi annoyed him. It wasn't logical, and until now he was able to control himself, but he wondered how would he cope when it happened? No one ever in his life had managed to come so close to him in such a small time. He was sure when she confessed, he would accept her. Who wouldn't accept such a beautiful creature? He chuckled and laughed slightly.
"Uchiha-san?" Hinata asked, confused when she heard his small laugh. "Is something wrong?"
"No, Hyuuga-san," He replied. "Everything is fine." Even if he couldn't see her, he was sure she was beautiful; as beautiful on the outside as she was on the inside.
They stayed silent for a while as he felt she was uncomfortable. She wanted to say something to him but didn't dare, or didn't know how to phrase it right. She was such a considerable creature. She would over-think matters so she wouldn't hurt, confuse or insult others.
He waited a little to see if she would speak up.
She didn't and just sighed.
"What is it Hyuuga-san?" He asked after a moment.
She looked up at him. "Hm?"
"You are uncomfortable and I believe it is because there is something you wish to tell me, but you can't bring yourself to do it," He clarified.
"Um… well… the… the truth is… I want to tell you something." She hesitated and looked at him. "It really is… is… not my… my business but…" She trailed off, clearly very uncomfortable.
"Go on," He encouraged her.
"I think that it is time to talk with your brother," She blurted out and looked away, embarrassed. "Although you hide it, you really want to restore your relationship with him," She told him quietly.
He remained still, in a way annoyed, that she talked about this matter. He didn't reply, not wanting to continue this conversation.
"I am sorry," She said and left the room.
He closed his eyes, suddenly feeling really tired. It wasn't that he didn't want to restore his relationship with his brother, it wasn't that he didn't miss him. All these years he had been living for him but… but he wanted peace and for once in his life, he wanted to have his way. Why couldn't Sasuke come to him? Why couldn't someone else explain and convince him to come?
Hinata was out of the room and looked at the patient inside. It really wasn't her place but she felt that these two had to come to terms with each other. They would never be able to move on if they didn't settle the things between them. She couldn't say that they would as close as they once were, the wounds were too deep and the memories too raw. Even if they were able to become brothers again, it would require time and a lot of talking. She sighed and looked at the man inside the hospital room. Neither of them was willing to start, unfortunately.
She got up immediately and walked with as much confidence as she could master to the room of the other Uchiha. She stood in front of his door and took a big breath to calm herself. She couldn't let them destroy themselves. They were the only relatives each other had and both loved each other, even Sasuke that didn't admit it. She was sure of it, Itachi had been a wonderful brother and a major reason the young boy was hurting so much over the years was the loss of this wonderful brother and his replacement with an evil figure who was the cause of his solitude.
She knocked and waited for an answer. After not receiving one for some minutes, she knocked again more persistently. Still nothing happened. She took another big breath annoyed and entered the room, without knocking this time. The young avenger was there, lying on his back and staring outside of the window.
"Sasuke-san?" she asked waiting for an answer. The boy didn't even flinch, it was like she wasn't there. She had heard from Naruto and Sakura that this was how he acted. It was like he had given up on life and just breathed and ate a little. He was too skinny as she noticed. She suspected he was going through some kind of depression after all the revelation. "I don't know if you remem… remember me… I was your… your classmate… in the academy." she started and paused after a moment. She couldn't talk like that, this wouldn't convince him. "My name is Hyuuga Hinata" she added. Still no reaction came from him. He just lay there apathetically, like the world around him didn't exist. "You are really different from your brother." This must have touched a nerve as he turned to look at her angrily. They just stared at each other. Hinata was very proud of herself for meeting his gaze; it was so intimidating, more than she remembered it to be. "I am his medic" she informed him and sat on the chair next to his bed. "Do you want me to stop?" she asked him after a while.
He just stared at her angrily and after a moment his apathetic expression appeared and replaced his anger. He turned his head and rolled so she would see only his back.
"Although he doesn't say it, I am sure he wants to see you." she told him softly and raised her hand to caress him, like she did for his brother but chose not to, in the end. "Do you?" she asked. He didn't respond but she heard the difference in his breathing, it was quicker. He was unsettled by what she told him. "I could arrange it, if you wanted." He still said nothing. She sighed and shook her head. "I take back what I said." He slightly turned his head to look at her with the corned of his eye. "You are not that different. His reaction was exactly like this."
He kept looking at her, trying to understand why she was here, what would she gain from him and his brother meeting and restoring their relationship. "None of you will be able to move on, if you don't discuss this." she told him and got up. "I didn't know your mother but Uchiha-san says that I remind him of her. If she was anything like me, she would be extremely sad to see her two boys live and die in sorrow." she turned to live when he grabbed her hand and just looked at her, not really having anything to say to her. She took his hand and caressed it slightly. "Please think about it." she pleaded and left giving him a small smile on encouragement.
The next day she was back in Itachi's room. They didn't talk and there was some tension between them.
Hinata could, in no way, confess to him what she had done after she left his room. A part of her in a way regretted her actions, it really wasn't her business, but she couldn't help it. There would always be a feeling of deep sorrow within him if she didn't do anything about this. She slightly touched his shoulder.
He turned his head to her side.
"I need to change your bandage," She told him.
He got up without talking to her; he was still a little angry with her, but at the same time he wanted so desperately to do something so she wouldn't be so uncomfortable around him. He shivered when he felt her hands on his chest. She slowly did her work, like always, making sure she was not hurting him and checking if his wounds were recovering. An urge to do something with her there nearly took over him. He had never felt like that about anyone; no woman's touch had ever felt so good, not even the most experienced whore could make him desire her as much as he had started to desire her.
Suddenly a knock was heard at the door.
Hinata stopped and looked at the door. "Come in," She said.
Sakura went inside and looked at the two of them. "Hinata-san, when you finish, could you go to Sasuke-kun's room?"
Hinata nodded and turned to her work.
The other medic left a little disappointed. She couldn't get an answer as to why the raven want to see the Hyuuga heiress. As far she remembered, the two of them didn't have any kind of relationship in the past.
Itachi stressed at the idea of his medic and his brother together in a room. Why would Sasuke want to see Hinata? Did they know each other? And if yes, how well?
Hinata, noticing his state, looked curiously at him. "Uchiha-san?" She asked, worried.
He shook his head, urging her to finish.
After she was done, she helped him to his bed. She prepared to leave the room, but he grabbed her hand, asking her silently to stay a little more with him. She didn't resist to his plea and sat on his bed close to him.
"Why did my brother want to see you?" He asked in an angry voice, slightly accusing her of having a relationship with him.
"If I don't go to his room, we won't learn the answer to that," She answered him. "I promise I will tell you whatever he told me, except if he asks me not to tell you specifically," She promised him and got up.
This time he didn't stop.
She quietly left the room and headed towards the younger brother's room.
She knocked softly. This time she heard him answer with a weak reply. She opened the door and came in. She smiled, seeing that he seemed livelier than the previous day. "You wanted to see me, Sasuke-san?"
"You said that you can arrange a meeting with my brother?" He asked her.
She nodded in response.
"Tomorrow sometime, but only if he wants," He told her strictly.
She smiled at him. "Is that all?" She questioned him.
He nodded shortly and looked away from her.
As she was closing the door, he stopped her. "Wait. There is something else."
She stopped on her tracks and turned her head to look at him.
"I want you to be there, at least in the beginning"
She smiled at that and nodded happily. "Of course. Have a good day Sasuke-san." She wanted to run to Itachi and tell him the news.
She entered the room, excited to inform him, but found him sleeping. He looked so peaceful, she just couldn't bring herself to wake him up. She smiled and sat on the chair, admiring his beauty. She would tell him later, when she would be changing his bandage. She hoped he would take the news well and not be very angry with her meddling in his affairs. In a way, she knew he wouldn't be really mad since he wanted that meeting to take place some time now.
Ok so I know that Itachi is pretty much different than he is supposed to be, so I apologize if that really unsettles you. I wanted to say here that I have written, months ago too, a sequel kind of that focuses more on the relationship between Itachi and Sasuke and it's actually their talk... so if you would be interested, tell me and I'll try to finish it and publish it.
Have a good day, everyone. XD