Alright, so here's my next story. I have a few ideas I could spin on this so hopefully the introduction doesn't scare everyone off if it's a bit slow.
Itachi filed neatly into the room along with the rest of his colleagues, a select few speaking amongst themselves as they took their respective seats at the long table, awaiting direction from their leader.
He suddenly appeared before them at the head of the table, standing erect and magnificent. Silence filled the near empty room as his purple eyes looked to each individual before continuing, "We have a new objective."
Itachi watched listlessly as Deidara, the most reckless and audacious of them all, questioned loudly, "What? We aren't after the Jinchuurikis anymore? You must be joking."
The leader gave him a thoroughly displeased look as a few snickers traveled throughout the table. Deidara's teeth ground together in both anger and mortification.
"I said no such thing, Deidara. Listen." He looked back to the rest of the Akatsuki, taking a fleeting, curious glance at Itachi before continuing. "Our new objective focuses on Orochimaru."
Most of the Akatsuki members looked to each other in mild surprise. Itachi kept up the façade, all of his face in line and completely at ease. Maybe too much at ease, he cursed silently.
Leader spoke. "We must discover his motive and determine whether this will benefit or negatively effect our organization."
Kisame raised an eyebrow. "Why are we worried about Orochimaru at all? Has he done something that requires our attention?"
The leader nodded. "With the help of Zetsu's espionage, Sasori was able to interrogate one of Orochimaru's subordinates. Before the man died, it was brought to light that Orochimaru may have intentions of taking the Jinchuurikis, as well."
Kakuzu scoffed in annoyance. "Probably just to add to his own power, the bastard."
The leader spoke, "The intention is irrelevant. We will capture Orochimaru's apprentice, Uchiha Sasuke, to gather information. If anything, we can use the boy as leverage to get from Orochimaru the information we need."
Itachi watched Deidara's eyes suddenly widen, an indefinable expression on his features. He seemed astonished, maybe even happily surprised.
Itachi said nothing, observing Deidara with intense, grave eyes, his jaws taut and lips in a thin line.
Black Zetsu contributed to the conversation. "It'll be a real pain, though. Uchiha Sasuke has grown to be a formidable opponent, one not to be taken lightly."
Leader nodded. "We will form a three-man team to guarantee his captivity."
Deidara nearly burst in his seat, his palms pushing hard against the long table as he stood. "I would like to be a member of this team."
The leader shook his head. "You're still not experienced enough for this mission, Deidara. Sasuke is dangerous."
Itachi remained silent, watching as Deidara physically wilted, dropping carelessly and bleakly back into his seat.
Sasuke hastily sprung off the tree branch, chakra rushing through his feet to gain speed as he soared through the air, his pursuers much too close for his personal liking. He spun quickly and threw five kunai at the nearest enemy, hearing a faint curse as it nicked him in the arm. Landing on the next branch, Sasuke took a sharp right and with a burst of speed continued his onward evasion.
He frowned, displeased he'd have to result to escape, but it couldn't be helped. He'd killed Orochimaru only hours ago, gotten rid of that vile, forsaken snake of a man, and, without rest or recovery since then, was too weary to capably battle any Akatsuki member.
Especially not three.
He cursed his incredibly frustrating lack of luck and took another sharp turn, only hoping they'd fall for something he knew they wouldn't. Maybe if he had been provided with a four-leaf clover or some fairy dust he could make this troublesome situation go away.
Sasuke sneered but kept going. There was no one or nothing to rely on but himself. He slowed down his speed as his pursuers increased theirs and, right when they were in range, released Chidori through every pore of his body, the fierce lightning escaping wildly in all directions.
Sasuske heard another curse from behind him and finally turned to face them, landing nimbly on a thick branch and watching as the others did the same, but at a distance. There was no other solution, he realized, but to fight. They were Akatsuki, inevitably too experienced to fail at something as simple as a chase.
But with Sasuke at a numerical disadvantage he could only wonder at the outcome. While the Akatsuki was well known to travel in pairs of two, today it appeared they wanted to be even more problematic.
What a fucking joy.
Discreetly, he gave them all a quick inspection; all three Akatsuki, only one he could identify as Kisame, were in perfect condition; not including, of course, the one that had had an unfortunate confrontation with Sasuke's kunai.
Sasuke, on the other hand, was painfully the less for wear, both his palms stabbed through each side and still oozing blood. Absently, he tried to remember how to recover his chakra as he tried even harder to forget why he needed to in the first place.
Sasuke sneered as his thoughts turned to his sensei but quickly composed his features as he focused on the men before him, watching him with keen eyes.
One of them, white-haired and certainly the most human-looking of the three, took a step forward, holding out his hand in what looked like what was supposed to be reassurance. "It's okay, Sasuke-kun. We do not wish to harm you."
Sasuke merely stayed where he was, his hand on the hilt of his blade. It didn't make sense for members of such a high-level organization to go on such a crazed hunt without the intention of spilling blood. After all, the sole purpose of having prey was to play with it, right?
"What do you want?" Sasuke questioned, his eyes piercing darkly into each of them. It had been an abrupt ambush indeed, his particularly keen sight the sole factor that allowed him to narrowly dodge their group attack. Then their second ambush was activated, whether automated or by one of the Akatsuki's doing Sasuke wasn't sure, and in a sudden moment a flurry of kunai had been showered on him from all directions but behind him, and he was forced to retreat.
He didn't know why they had predetermined him as their target, but it sure as hell could have come at a better time.
Sasuke inwardly shrugged. No matter; whatever it was they wanted from him, they couldn't have it.
"Only your cooperation," Kisame said with a ubiquitous smirk. He looked like a man of superiority, Sasuke thought absently.
The raven-haired boy stayed where he was, his Sharingan gaze never once displaying signs of weakness or uncertainty. After all, why would he? Fear was for those that cared for their lives, cared that they survived to live another day, breathe another breath, and spend another fleeting moment with friends and loved ones. Sasuke stopped caring a long time ago.
He'd almost forgotten what it was like to fear—almost. He wished, oh he wished he could, could forget the cold shiver playing up and down his spine, the profuse sweat that made him feel like he was drowning, that indescribable moment where he stood breathless because nothing made sense.
No, he'd never forgotten.
And the men before him were starting to get annoying. Very.
Sasuke's grip on his sword tightened. "Why don't you stop being intentionally vague and tell me what I want to know?" He'd never been one for elusion, despised it when people required the aid of avoidance to get their message across.
Or, really, not get their message across, because Sasuke still didn't know what the hell they wanted.
Kisame turned to the white-haired man, his smirk widening. "He's quite the feisty one, isn't he?" He laughed, turning back to Sasuke. "It's cute."
The man leered as well, his teeth gleaming menacingly. "Quite so, Kisame-san. Maybe we shouldn't take him back to base, after all." He snickered loudly. "We could just eat him right here."
Sasuke's eyebrows lowered. Take him back to base?
This was beginning to sound much too hazardous for his liking. Having three Akatsuki members after him was one thing, but to be taken back to base for the entire organization? Was it because they found out about Orochimaru?
But suddenly the three Akatsuki members were in the air, like some unseen message had passed between them, their movements in sync as they closed in on the Uchiha.
Sasuke hissed, swiftly back flipping out of the enemy's range, but it wasn't quick enough. While he had managed to avoid one, he was forced to reckon with the other two, one of which he had quite conveniently rammed into. Kisame stood tremendously tall behind him, his odd weapon pressed hard against his neck.
After a few moments of struggle, Sasuke's limbs began to shake and at first the only way he could react was in confusion. Was this fear?, Sasuke considered with wide eyes. Was he actually scared of what was going to happen to him?
Kisame pressed the sword tighter against Sasuke's neck, chuckling. "Well, isn't that interesting. Samehada appears to be taking a great likening to your chakra, Sasuke-kun. He always did relish in the taste of darkness."
Sasuke inwardly cursed. Not fear, the sword that was taking all his chakra. Chakra I can't afford to lose, he thought bitterly. His hands reached for his kunais but it was a wasted effort, the man with an arched back grabbing his hands in an unforgivable grip as he bound them together.
Sasuke's vision began to blur and he hissed as he fell unceremoniously to his knees, for the first time feeling vulnerable. Get up, his mind screamed at him. He knew the horrors of what could happen to him while he was unconscious, he knew, goddamn it.
But escape was impossible. His limbs were stuck, frozen in place, and he couldn't stop the sudden rush of landscape as the harsh ground came up to meet him.
Sasuke awoke in a daze, his eyes unfocused as he instinctively searched his bare surroundings. He was in a room, a small one, which consisted of four gray walls, a shade lighter for the ceiling and tile floor, a door, and a bed. So conveniently, he had not been positioned on the soft lump, instead with his hands and feet shackled to the walls in the corner of the room, his hands hanging limp above his head with his legs curled up on the cold floor. Experimentally, he tested the bindings, their grip tight and unrelenting.
Already panting from his precariously low chakra reserve, he willed himself to perform a Chidori.
Instead, though, he gasped in surprise, pain suddenly surging through him as his entire body writhed, the electric currents traveling violently through his body.
"That rope is a special kind we invented to prevent chakra usage."
Sasuke turned at the sudden presence of the Akatsuki member, prepared to demand the reason behind his imprisonment when his tongue felt like lead in his mouth.
He walked further into the room. "It also prevents your body from storing chakra. Quite inconvenient for the victim, is it not?"
Sasuke's mouth grew into a small sneer. This was the man, that damn man that tried to convince him it was not Itachi that caused the Uchiha clan destruction. As if he were a mere victim of circumstance.
Join the damn club.
Sasuke's lip twitched, but he kept a level gaze with the masked man. "What am I doing here?" He twisted his wrists, the rope beginning to rub his flesh raw. "And why am I tied up?"
The man before him stood from his position on the bed to take a step toward the door. "Do not worry, Sasuke-kun, once we get the information we need you will be promptly released."
Sasuke was about to unhappily respond when Tobi spoke again, his hand on the doorknob, "Don't get too comfy, someone will be coming back for you shortly."
With that, Tobi left, shutting the door behind him. Sasuke could hear the lock click in place.
He rested his head against the wall, again testing the bonds. Both of his feet were tied on opposite sides of his body, his ankles resting beside his hips, and Sasuke suddenly realized his legs were spread much more than he'd ever be willing to sit.
Violent memories rushed toward him, and Sasuke swallowed loudly, doing his best to suppress them as he tried squirming into a better position. He inwardly cursed, the shackles on his feet too distanced to allow him to properly close his legs. Damn it.
The door opened, Kisame once again making an appearance as he grinned condescendingly, making his way over. "Been a while, huh, Sasuke-kun?" He laughed as he bent to the smaller boy's level, unshackling him from the wall.
Sasuke pressed his knees together self-consciously and was suddenly heaved from the ground, Kisame's grip on the collar of his shirt bringing him quickly to his feet. He stood unsteadily, and the shark-like man did a few quick hand seals to remove the rope around his ankles, intentionally keeping his hands bound. "If you cooperate, we'll keep this off. I'd prefer not carry you everywhere, no matter how light you are."
Sasuke nodded. Chances of escape were undoubtedly slim. He'd merely have to keep a keen eye out for moments of weakness.
Kisame grabbed the back of Sasuke's shirt, leading him roughly out of the room, passed the next few rooms, down the hall that in turn led to a large, nearly empty room, the only furniture a long, rectangular table in the center.
Akatsuki members were already seated at the table, discussing amongst each other about the daily gossip of the hidden villages or their latest conquests in defeating the Jinchuurikis.
Kisame led Sasuke to an empty seat and, reluctantly, he sat, not bothering to look about his surroundings. He knew Itachi would be here, knew that fiend of a man was sitting somewhere near him in this very room; hell, maybe he was even right beside him.
He didn't care. It wasn't just Itachi that'd done Sasuke wrong in the past and, after a while, he just stopped caring.
Sasuke kept his scrutiny on the table, his mind running through various escape scenarios he could execute if presented the right situation.
Absently, though, he realized that whoever was sitting across from him was staring at him, and not very discreetly. Sasuke ignored it, trying to focus on his current predicament but, after another long moment of feeling the man's almost unnerving gaze, finally looked up to confront the spectator.
The man had long golden-blond hair, his bangs coming in front of his face to fully cover one eye. Sasuke kept a level gaze as the man continued watching him almost hungrily, his tongue flashing out to lick sensuously at his lips.
Sasuke's stomach flipped at the much too familiar feeling in his gut, but remained outwardly composed, his cold eyes staring evenly into the other man's.
Finally, the man thought to do something other than gawk, a smirk breaking across his face as he spoke, "Exactly how old are you, Sasuke-chan?"
The question caught Sasuke off guard, and he raised a puzzled, annoyed eyebrow.
After the man got only silence, he continued again. "Oh, come on, just tell me. I really wanna know."
Sasuke decided not to call the man out on his juvenile remark, keeping his sneer to himself. "I don't see how that concerns you."
The man leaned his head onto his closed hand, his elbow resting on the table as he watched Sasuke with that same grin. "You know, Sasuke-chan, you look damn sexy when you're all mysterious like that. I've got the biggest boner like you wouldn't believe." His tongue escaped his lips again, and Sasuke couldn't resist scoffing in revulsion.
But something deep inside Sasuke was screaming at him, trying to tell him something his mind didn't comprehend.
Gods, if only he could tell what the fuck it was saying.
Instead, he went against his natural instinct and ignored the voice, deeming it as paranoia. "If you are a man of only pleasure then I dare say you are unworthy of it entirely," Sasuke said, his expression neutral.
"Ahh, is that so?" the blond man cooed. "Then how would I be worthy in your eyes, Sasuke-chan? What do I have to do to make you have willing sex with me?"
Sasuke now became aware of two men, not one, staring at him, and he would've bet anything that the other man was Itachi. Sasuke hid a sneer; the man must be watching for signs of weakness, relishing in his kid brother's pain.
Sasuke's eye twitched, keeping his gaze on Blondie. "You misunderstand me; I have no interest in your sexual appetite. Now leave me alone."
The older man's eyes squinted and his smirk fell off his face. "Excuse me? You wanna fucking run that by me one more time?"
Sasuke ignored the man, absently looking at the two holes in his palms left by Orochimaru. They remained unhealed, the fissures red and messy.
Kisame chuckled. "It's okay, Deidara, not everyone can have who they want. Just got to pick and choose."
Deidara's face was scrunched up in rage, hissing softly, "I did choose." Unexpectedly, Sasuke felt an odd, unpleasant sensation snake up his leg, starting at his ankle and steering toward his inner thigh. Realizing it was the man's bare leg rubbing up against him, he jerked away from the unwelcome touch, sending his chair back several inches to give him ample space.
"What the hell?" Sasuke asked harshly, genuinely offended.
"Didn't you hear me?" Deidara hissed, "I want you, damn it!"
The room grew hushed as the other Akatsuki turned confused gazes in their direction, and Sasuke pushed himself to his feet, his cheeks burning and his teeth grinding as he moved to leave.
But Kisame got a tight grip on his shirt and pulled it from beneath his pants.
For possibly the trillionth time since joining Orochimaru, Sasuke hated himself and hated that damn snake sannin for making him wear such a ridiculously revealing shirt.
But he had never expected to hate it as much as he did right then. As Kisame pulled at his shirt, it unraveled from beneath his pants, the once tucked shirt now loose and flapping in Kisame's hand.
Sasuke looked down mortified as he saw the grotesque scar running across his toned lower abdomen, the word mine in scrawled print scorched deeply into his flesh. It was a dark, blackish hue, and Sasuke could still remember the vast, nearly immeasurable pain as the poker was driven into his skin.
"What the—," Kisame began as he looked at the mark, but halted abruptly as Sasuke, unable to efficiently use his hands, instead twisted his body, yanking himself out of the older man's grip. With hands still clasped tightly together, Sasuke used them to rearrange his shirt as he made his way to the exit, fingers trembling and palms aching.
He didn't get very far as Kisame grabbed the boy by the shoulders and wrapped his arms around his upper chest, pressing him into his own.
Sasuke tried in vain to wrench himself from the man's constricting hold, the tight arms inescapable. Instinctively, he tried using Chidori, the same electric current that surged through him before now rushing all over again. He cursed silently, breathless and bone-fucking-tired, bowing his head in defeat.
Why was he so damn weak?
Kisame snorted, pulling Sasuke's shirt out of the way for another inspection. "I'm surprised Orochimaru would do this sort of thing, no matter how possessive the damn snake is. With Sasuke as his container, I'd have thought he wouldn't allow even the slightest bit of a kunai to prick his little body."
Deidara snickered at that, an indefinable expression on his features, but a man with purple eyes and peculiar piercings had suddenly appeared, standing before Sasuke with a deep gaze, inspecting the burn wound with mild incredulity. He prodded at it, and Sasuke barely managed to contain the hiss that tried to escape. He's proven himself weak enough for one day.
"Orochimaru did this?"
Sasuke kept his head down, saying nothing as he felt everyone's gaze pinning him down like a squirming ant beneath a magnifying glass. It was humiliating, having to show off this shameful scar that brought back so many degrading memories.
The purple-eyed man refocused his hand from Sasuke's abdomen then his curled fists, indicating the holes. "And this?"
Sasuke swallowed a sob, instead savoring in the physical pain that distracted him from harsher pains as he felt the man fist a hand in his hair, yanking him up to meet his gaze. The man displayed no emotions, merely waiting for the response Sasuke was not planning to give. Who was this man to think he deserved to know what happened to him?
Before the man could continue, an odd-looking man—half black face, half white— came to stand beside him, gaining his attention. "Sir, it's almost noon, if the schedule is followed Orochimaru's subordinates should be free from surveillance—."
"Go ahead, Zetsu," the man replied, his gaze never leaving Sasuke's and his grip on his hair never loosening or tightening. "Bring Sasori."
Zetsu seemed to hesitate a bit. "You, you said you wished to assist in the interrogation. Or will you stay here?"
The supposed leader seemed deep in thought and, after a moment, released Sasuke, not unkindly, and brought his hands to his sides. "No, I shall come." He looked to the others seated around the table. "No plans of action will be pursued. Take advantage of this time to rest." He looked to Kisame. "Because you have the strongest physical condition, I want you to keep an eye on him when you can. Do not remove his shackles." He stood silent for another moment, as though in thought, then added, "Sasuke shall room with Itachi until my return."
Sasuke eyes widened, and from his peripheral he could see Itachi immediately straighten in his seat, blinking dubiously and eyebrows slashed.
And then the three were gone, Sasuke and Kisame standing adjacent to one another while the rest of the Akatsuki sat, astonished.
After long, dreadful moments of complete silence, the stillness thick and unnerving, Kisame brought everyone out of their dazes, finally sighing audibly. "Alright, I suppose I'll lead Sasuke to his room." He looked to Itachi. "Coming?"
Agonizingly slow, Itachi nodded, as though he was so speechless or so angry or so something that he knew he'd explode if he portrayed anything but the absolute necessities. Slowly, he stood, making his way behind Kisame and Sasuke, who had reached the door and were now walking down the long hallway. Sasuke's hands were still tightly bound with the chakra-restraining rope, and Kisame had a large hand on the small of the boy's back, ready if the boy were to attempt an outbreak.
Taking a right into another hallway then a left, Kisame had led Sasuke to stand in front of a closed gray door. The man opened it, allowing Sasuke first entrance as the boy surveyed his surroundings.
The walls, like all the rooms appeared to be, were gray. It wasn't as sparse as the first, though, including two twin beds, both on opposite sides of each other, and a small table with bland drawers.
"Why are there two beds?"
Kisame stepped into the room behind Sasuke. "Itachi-san had had a roommate until he was killed. Since then, he's been the only inhabitant." He chuckled darkly. "Until now, of course."
Itachi had trailed into the room, avoiding eye contact with his brother as he gazed interestedly at the pale wall.
Sasuke did not outwardly react, instead turning to Kisame with a slight frown. "How long until your leader comes back?" He'll go absolutely fucking mad if he stays here for long.
Kisame shrugged. "No idea." He smirked widely, stepping back into the hallway. "Well, I'll let you two get reacquainted." His laugh was heard even as the door shut.
And then the two Uchihas were left alone in the small room, both standing awkwardly. Sasuke could only imagine what Itachi's thoughts must be. He was probably wondering why Sasuke hadn't attacked him, even with his hands tied, or why he hadn't indignantly shouted at him for killing their clan, their family.
In all honesty, Sasuke was surprised, too. He thought the day he finally confronted Itachi would be the day all his hatred and anger would simmer uncontrollably to the surface, violent and frenzied.
But Sasuke could still feel that ache, that deep ache in his soul that just made him not care. He almost sighed loudly, but at the last second managed to mute it, instead slumping his shoulders. He just felt so…lonely. He had thought facing Itachi would bring him back to life, make his life finally mean something again, but it was a wasted hope. Sasuke was too far gone to change, and too broken to mend.
"Something the matter?" Itachi asked with a cocked eyebrow, seemingly still pale from before.
Sasuke's gaze shot up to his brother's, stunned the man was talking to him, had assumed he would completely ignore him. After all, most high-esteemed men would talk only to those of their own caliber, and Sasuke was hardly his equal.
Sasuke huffed, choosing to ignore the question as he broke eye contact with Itachi, instead turning his gaze to the bed behind him. "This one yours?"
"No, you may use it."
Sasuke sat and leaned his head against the wall as Itachi did the same on his own bed, feeling the mattress dip under his weight.
For untold hours, they had sat there, not speaking, not looking at each other—aside from the occasional curious glance—, just…existing. Sasuke had expected it to be awkward, uncomfortable in the presence of his family's murderer, but it wasn't nearly as unpleasant as he had suspected. It felt nice, he thought before he could stop himself. He didn't invade his brother's space, and the older man didn't invade Sasuke's. They were at peace.
Sasuke's eyes began to droop, but he reluctantly fought it. What if they weren't at peace at all? What if Itachi's sole intention was to wait for him to fall asleep, so the boy would be even morevulnerable and ripe for killing?
Sasuke blinked and dug his palms harshly into his eyes. If anything, it just made his fatigue worse, and he cursed the world.
Soon his need for the comfort of the warm sheets below him was cultivating to a level his mind simply could not overcome. The mattress felt nice beneath him, soft, his exhaustion overwhelming every part of his body in a way that screamed and begged for reprieve.
And then he was succumbing to the urge, feeling his body slowly droop onto the mattress, his eyes closing in welcome oblivion.
Alright, well there it is! I haven't decided if I should continue or not, so maybe you could leave a review determining if it's acceptable or total garbage? It'd be quite appreciated.
Until next time!
P.S.- There's a poll inquiring if you would enjoy Uchihacest. Unless highly requested, it's likely I won't do it at all, so if you want it you better vote or request it in a review! ;]