Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto. But I seriously wish I owned Itachi because I am falling in love with him. I actually am. And since he's not real, that's sort of bad.

Author's Note: I am truly and extremely sorry for the long time it took to update, but I'm in university now and it's soooo busy! I have not given up, I promise! And summer is here so hopefully you'll get quicker updates, though I'm off doing a study abroad for a month now so can't make promises!

Warning: M for smut and Uchihacest as usual. Though this is tamer than the other chapters. Also LOTS of angst. LOTS of it.

Spoiler: References to latest Naruto chapter (what was it, 587 I think? The one that released on May 24th)

Also want to thank my reviewers. The last 2-3 months have sort of been hell for me, lots of crap happened at once - the down time of my life, basically. But even little things like your sweet, amazing awesome reviews made my day. As dumb and cliche as that sounds, they did. So thank you. So much love to all of you. Special thanks to Hoshi, jojo le crapaud, Sihnya, XxAngel Of MadnessxX, missbip0lar, Hira, WraithReaper, Yellow Ninja, Freya's Valhalla, Jojo, Melody, Aon, cc, necro omen13, rubitan, XXxSoraxXX, xstefidx, linkboy, I's that C, jessx123x, GD-bear, Uchihacestgirl, Anime Hottie Lovah, , inorox77, Sasukefanboy17, mistykasumi, Aon and for your kind and encouraging words.

I'm surprised I didn't get any flames for the last chapter. You guys are the BEST. READERS. EVER. Thank you. Seriously. I know it was a bit hard to digest and distasteful for some of you, and whoever didn't like it was sooo incredibly polite and sweet and generally compliment-ish. So thanks. That's mature and you're awesome. You really are. SO MUCH LOVE. And don't worry that was the first and last of uchibicest that I shall ever write, I'm pretty certain of that.

Anyways enough babbling, on to the chapter. Just wanted to tell you guys how great you are and oh Kami-sama, I am gushing and need to stop.


Sasuke was woken the next morning by a peculiar, but not entirely unfamiliar smell.

It was strong, and sharp, and certainly not a smell Sasuke was particularly fond of.

Why am I not surprised, Sasuke thought to himself, realizing where he was.

Naruto's apartment.

"Dobe!" he growled, cracking an eyelid open, "I'm going to kill you."

"Good morning to you too, teme!" Naruto's voice chirped back.

Sasuke sat up on the couch, and glared at his friend's blonde head.

"For breakfast, Naruto? Really?" Sasuke grumbled, "You're such a moron."

"Don't insult the ramen!" Naruto screeched.

"I'm not," Sasuke rolled his eyes, dragging himself off of the couch, "I'm insulting you."

"Hey!" Naruto snapped, still not looking at Sasuke, as he hunched over his unhealthy breakfast, which was filling the room with the distinct smell of miso.

Sasuke slumped onto the chair across from his friend.

"Give me some real food," he groused, "I'm not sparring with you on an empty stomach."

Naruto's face lit up.

"You're just scared I'll beat you, loser!"

"Hn," Sasuke shrugged, before heading over to the fridge.

He yanked the fridge door open, and was slightly surprised at what he saw; rather than just endless packs of frozen ramen meals; there were endless packs of frozen ramen meals and tomatoes. An entire bag of juicy, round, ripe, red tomatoes.

"I didn't know you liked tomatoes that much, Naruto," Sasuke observed, smirking and looking over at his teammate.

Naruto blushed, before ducking his head down and slurping loudly on his ramen.

"Shinobi need their vegetables, y'know," Naruto muttered after a moment, not meeting Sasuke's eyes.

"Of course," Sasuke said teasingly, picking a tomato and grinning at his best friend who was still, oddly enough, flushing.


Sasuke spent the entire day with Naruto.

He badly wanted to go back to the compound – and see Itachi.

But the sight of Itachi and Deidara was something he knew he wouldn't be able to handle.

So he stayed with Naruto.

And Sasuke had to admit, spending the day with Naruto wasn't half-bad.

The blonde was cheerful to the point of getting on Sasuke's nerves, but Sasuke liked that about him, and being with Naruto was – easy. Natural.

It made him happy.

Around Itachi he often felt jumpy (or perhaps it was just one part of him in his pants that felt jumpy) and over-excited.

It was exhilarating, being with his brother.

But at least with Naruto, Sasuke had some control over his emotions, and more importantly over his thoughts – and his libido.

And some control was better than none at all.


"So… wanna tell me what's been bothering you?" Naruto asked suddenly.

"…no," Sasuke replied.

"Teme!" Naruto poked him, and in retribution, Sasuke sent a spark of chidori his way.

"Ow! Bastard!"

"Shut up, usuratonkachi," Sasuke said warily, batting Naruto's hand away.

They were lying on the grass, sweaty and exhausted, after what had been quite the spar.

They were both shirtless – it had been hot – and their shoulders were touching.

Sasuke realized at that moment, why, perhaps if a stranger were to walk in on them, they would interpret it as something more than just friendship.

It's nothing though, Sasuke told himself firmly.

"Tell me," Naruto repeated.


"Aw, Sasukeeee!" Naruto whined, stretching out Sasuke's name in that annoying way of his, "Come on, why not! I tell you everything!"

"Like what?"

"I do," Naruto argued back, "Like I told you that day when Hinata-chan was wearing this really awesome tight top that I noticed she was totally-"

"I don't want to hear about that," Sasuke snapped, "I didn't then, and I don't now!"

"But we're guys," Naruto insisted, "Aren't we supposed to talk about stuff like that?"


"We can talk about Sakura-chan if you'd prefer-"

"Naruto. Shut up."

"Ugh – but I – I'm your best friend!" Naruto cried, opting for a different approach.

"When did I ever say that?"

"Sasukeee!" Naruto screeched indignantly.

Sasuke smirked, as Naruto began a rant about bonds and friendship.

"-and then I saved your sorry ass from Madara and convinced you to come back!' Naruto finished triumphantly.

Technically it was Itachi who had me convinced long before you did, Sasuke thought to himself.

He'd never tell that to Naruto though. He hadn't.

He'd let the dobe have his spiel then, during the war, and spout out nonsense about friendship and bonds, and he'd let Naruto take credit after.

It was the least he could do and it made Naruto happy.

"Look Naruto," Sasuke sighed, "I don't want to talk about it to anyone, not even to my best friend, okay."

"You admitted it!" Naruto exclaimed jubilantly, turning over slightly and beaming at Sasuke.

Sasuke smiled softly. The dobe was way too predictable.

"I don't know why, but I guess I did."

"Teme! You're lucky to have me!"

I know I am.

"Tch. Yeah right, dobe."

They bantered for a few more minutes, and then Sasuke flipped over so he was resting on his stomach.

He was suddenly finding it hard to keep looking into Naruto's intense, deep blue eyes.

Sparkling, bright eyes so different from Itachi's and yet –


Sasuke let his thoughts wander, and Naruto did too, and there was silence in the training ground, as both boys lay perfectly still, floating in that space between consciousness and dreams.

"Nii-san?" Sasuke asked, as Itachi came back early – three days early from a mission.

"Cancelled," Itachi stated, pausing, "That's the first time one of my missions got cancelled… I actually have free time now."

"What are you going to do?" Sasuke asked, trying not to sound too excited.

"Sleep," Itachi said, heading towards the bedroom, "Haven't gotten more than a total of three hours in the past week. It's been one mission after another, and I'm exhausted."

Sasuke found himself following his brother into his bedroom, as Itachi swiftly discarded his pack, his katana and his weapons holster, pulled off his arm guards, chest-guard and sandals, and collapsed onto the bed.

Sasuke lay down next to him, careful to maintain his distance.

"So you're sleeping now – that's it?" Sasuke asked, trying not to sound too disappointed or too hopeful, as he gazed at his older brother's peaceful face.

Itachi tilted his head to the side, eyes meeting Sasuke's, and then he smirked.

Less than a second later, he had slid over Sasuke, his body hovering over Sasuke's own.

"Why? Do you have something better in mind?" he teased.

"Nii-san…" Sasuke whispered, his heart racing, and he blushed under Itachi's intense gaze.

Itachi tilted his head down, his lips melding against Sasuke's own.

"You know I can't say no to you, not when you look at me like that," Itachi murmured, and Sasuke could feel every movement of Itachi's moist lips against his own.

Itachi then proceeded to kiss him thoroughly, prying open Sasuke's mouth with his lips, as he rested his hard body against his little brother's.

Sasuke bucked his hips upwards and leaned into the kiss, hardening instantly at the feel of Itachi's tongue in his mouth, and the feel of his brother's firm body against his own.

Itachi's hands cupped Sasuke's face, his fingers stroking Sasuke's cheekbones, and Sasuke wrapped his own arms around Itachi's neck, wrapping his legs around his brother to bring their erections closer.

Minutes later, Sasuke's shirt was off, and Itachi lips were trailing across Sasuke's bare chest. Sasuke moaned and writhed as Itachi provided him with the most exquisite form of torture, his lips and tongue hot and wet on Sasuke's skin. Itachi then scraped his teeth on Sasuke's shoulder, before sinking them slightly into his neck and sucking, and Sasuke moaned loudly.

He'd always been a bit of a masochist himself, and Itachi loved marking him.

It didn't take long for Itachi's hands to reach Sasuke's leg, and with one nudge, Itachi parted Sasuke's legs.

"Nii-san-" Sasuke gasped, as Itachi slid his hand up Sasuke's inner thigh to cup his manhood through his pants.

Seconds later and Sasuke's pants were off too, and Itachi was pumping him, as Sasuke writhed and thrashed between him.

"Itachi – I – I'm coming," Sasuke panted, as Itachi squeezed, and pumped harder.

His face was drawn in concentration, and Sasuke found it fascinating, and extremely erotic, to watch Itachi watch him, to see Itachi so focused and intense on him, those dark eyes filled with determination – and concern, as they flicked between Sasuke's own eyes – and his manhood.

Sasuke tilted his head up, clutching at Itachi's back and biting his older brother's shoulder as he came, all over the sheets, and into Itachi's hands.

"Fuck," Sasuke gasped, trembling slightly, and Itachi smirked at him, gripping his hips and flipping him over.

Sasuke had barely enough time to get over the pleasurable shock from his first orgasm, when he felt Itachi's slick fingers tracing over his backside to push against his entrance.

Sasuke was tight, and it took some more coaxing – gentle words from Itachi, soft kisses against the back of his neck, the shell of his ear – but soon Sasuke had completely relaxed.

He was kneeled over, supporting himself on his elbows, and he could feel Itachi's hard chest against his back. One of Itachi's hands was gripping his hips, and the other was playing with Sasuke's manhood, yet again touching and caressing the flesh into hardness.

And then Itachi pumped, and at the same time drove himself into Sasuke, and Sasuke gasped, because it hurt, but also because he could feel Itachi, large and hot and throbbing, inside of him, and it was the best feeling ever.

And then Itachi pounded him, and Sasuke could feel and hear his brother's pants against his neck – Itachi wanted it as much as he did – and when they came, they came together, Itachi exploded into Sasuke, and Sasuke exploded into Itachi's hand for the second time, wracked by indescribable pleasure, his head in the stars.

"Itachi-" Sasuke choked out, his head spinning and his eyes snapping open.

"I knew it," Naruto muttered beside him.

"What?" Sasuke snapped his head to the side, his heart pounding.

"I knew it – the reason you were upset – it's because of Itachi," Naruto replied.

Crap, Sasuke thought, it was another dream – and I must have said his name out loud…

"It's because of him and Deidara, isn't it?" Naruto asked, all too knowingly.

Sasuke glared at him cursing his own mind for being so fickle, but then sighed.

He couldn't lie to Naruto very well, not anymore.


"You're jealous," Naruto stated, and Sasuke was going to argue, but then shrugged.


"Well – you don't need to be," Naruto pointed out, "Itachi – he loves you more than anyone in the village. You know that, right?"

"I know that," Sasuke nodded, "But…"

"But what?" Naruto persisted.

"He's mine, damnit!" Sasuke finally burst out, sitting up and slamming his fist on the ground. "Itachi! He's mine."

Naruto looked taken aback, and sat up as well.

"Don't you think you're getting a little possessive, teme?"

"He's my brother, his whole life revolved around me, and I'm the one who should get to – be with him – "

"What?" Naruto looked confused.

"Spend time with him," Sasuke remedied correctly, glaring at nothing in particular, "Itachi's mine."

"Look," Naruto said, "I get you're upset, and I don't blame you. Hell, if you randomly started hanging out with – let's say Sai or something, I'd probably get jealous."

"I'd never spend time voluntarily with that replacement-"

"No, he's a nice guy," Naruto interrupted, "But still. I would. I get how you're feeling Sasuke, and I know you love to think that nobody ever understands you, but I do."

Sasuke narrowed his eyes.

"What do you mean?"

Naruto hesitated.

"What, Naruto?" Sasuke asked.

Naruto sighed.

"Well - I mean – ever since you've been back – you've always been devoted to Itachi. I don't blame you – he's an amazing older brother – and you two deserve time together. All I'm saying is – maybe sometimes, I get a little jealous…"

Sasuke stared at him, and Naruto flushed.

"What? I'm used to being – well – you know – your closest bond, I guess," Naruto continued, rambling, "I always thought it would come back to being that – and Itachi's incredible, he is, but I know that I'm not – well – your best friend anymore – in a way, he is. And sometimes, I'm jealous of him for that."


"It helps that he's Itachi and he's probably the coolest person in the world, because if it was anyone but him, I would have rasengan-ed them in the face by now. But he's – well he's Itachi. He's awesome. So I can just be happy for him, and for you because – because he's awesome," he finished lamely.


"IS THAT ALL YOU CAN SAY BASTARD?" Naruto screeched.

"I – I don't know what to say," Sasuke muttered, "That was really creepy, Naruto-"

"What? Geez, Sasuke, I didn't mean it in a weird way, I just-"

"But I guess I needed to hear it. Thanks."

"Um – okay?" Naruto made a weird face, "Sasuke you're confusing me."

"Asshole," he added as an afterthought.

"Itachi has always been and will always be the most important person in my life," Sasuke said.

"I know that-"

"And even though you can in no way compare to him, and even if you tried rasengan-ing him I would kill you – or he would genjutsu your ass before you could even manipulate the chakra –"

"Hey! I-"

"But you're still second, Naruto."

Naruto stared at him for a moment, his face lighting up.

"Even before Sakura?"

Sasuke smirked.

"Don't tell her I said this because she'll punch me, but of course. It's you, idiot."

"That's awesome!" Naruto beamed, slinging an arm around Sasuke.

"Get off," Sasuke snapped, but Naruto didn't, and Sasuke didn't push him off.

"You're actually the first on mine, and unlike you, I have a ton of important people, so you should feel special, teme!"

"Good," Sasuke smirked, "That's how it should be."

"Wait what?" Naruto asked.

"I should be first on yours."

"So you're saying you're allowed to have someone before me and I'm not allowed to have someone before you?" Naruto whined, "That's not fair."

"You're not," Sasuke stated smugly, "And you don't. So it's fine."

"But – but – "

"Shut up, dobe," Sasuke said, before standing up, "Look I should go back to the compound-"

"You should," Naruto nodded, "You should also talk things out with Itachi. Tell him what you told me. You'll feel better – once you've told him, I mean."

"…yeah," Sasuke said, waving, "Later, Naruto."

He walked towards the compound, feeling much happier than he had when he'd left it.


"Itachi?" Sasuke called out, sliding his sandals off.

He walked towards his brother's room – the bedroom door was ajar, which was a relief.

Sasuke was about to call his brother's name again, but then he froze.

Because the scene that met his eye was unbelievable – so unbelievable – and wrong.

No. No. No. No. NO!

Itachi was sitting upright on his bed.

Deidara was sprawled out on his back – but his head was on Itachi's lap.

And Itachi was allowing it.

The blonde was talking – babbling some utter nonsense -

"…so then I blew 'em up, stupid samurai… who do they think they are, un? Trying to trap me, a shinobi, and restrain my art! Blew 'em to pieces, yeah!"

He was talking animatedly, making various hand gestures, looking up at Itachi for the most part.

Itachi was silent as he watched and listened, but there was something in his eyes. A look, a tender look – and a hint of a smile at his lips.

Not a smirk, but a soft, genuine smile.

Sasuke's heart plummeted.

How often had he dreamt of Itachi looking at him that way, that exact way? He'd never seen such a look on his brother's face – and seeing it now – directed at Deidara?

Sasuke didn't think he could control it.

He didn't say a word, but his emotions had bubbled over, and his chakra spiked out wildly.

Sasuke stormed out of the compound into the alley, cursing.

Seconds later, Itachi leapt down from the rooftops in front of him, eyes questioning.

"Sasuke – you're back from Naruto's-"

"How do you even know I was there?" Sasuke demanded.

"I surmised as much," Itachi said, "But that's irrelevant, your chakra surge, I felt it, are you okay?"

"Am I okay?" Sasuke laughed manically, "Am I okay? Are you seriously asking me that, brother?"

Itachi furrowed his brows in confusion.

"Sasuke, what's going on?"

"What's going on?" Sasuke spat, "Have you seen yourself lately? Ever since that terrorist got here-"

"What does Deidara have to do with anything?" Itachi asked.

"How could you, Itachi?" Sasuke burst out, "When you knew how I – fuck, are you trying to rub it in or something?"

Itachi froze, staring at Sasuke.

"Still?" he asked softly.

"What the fuck do you mean, still?" Sasuke cried, "Of course!"

"I thought – after all these months-"

"You're supposed to be a genius, nii-san! How couldn't you tell? Have I really been that good at hiding it?"

"I suppose you have…"

"Well guess who I got that from? You hid everything from me for nearly my entire life!"

Itachi winced at this, and Sasuke felt a slight tinge of guilt but ignored it.

"Sasuke, I thought – with how much time you've been spending with Naruto, that-"

"NARUTO? Why is it always – why do you just assume that every time!"

"You were behaving normally with me, and spending more time with him, I only thought-"

"You know why, Itachi? Do you want to know why? Because I can't stand to be around you! It hurts, okay. It hurts because I know how you feel and I can't help how I do. And it's worse now! With him there! It's so fucking hard, to watch you – it's sick! And you don't even care, have you ever thought how it made me feel?"

"Sasuke – I'm sorry – I really thought-"

"What's your deal anyway? You and him? What the fuck is going on? Don't tell me nothing because I've seen enough to know it's not that."

"We were – together – in a sense – before you – before he died."

"Before I killed him?" Sasuke grimaced, "Is that what you were going to say? Did you hate me for killing your fucking lover?"

"I didn't say that-"

"You deserved it! You killed my family! My parents! You should know what it feels like to have someone take it away from you!"

Itachi went rigid. His dark eyes widened a fraction, and he stared at Sasuke for a moment.

He then looked away – his eyes were bright.

And Sasuke could have punched himself.

After everything Itachi had sacrificed for him – after the circumstances and what he'd been put through – after everything he'd forgiven Sasuke for – how could he have possible said something so cruel to his older brother?

His older brother, who had done nothing but doted upon him, and showed him kindness and compassion (pretended sadism and cruelty aside since that had been nothing but an act).

And they were Itachi's family too. Itachi's parents too. Itachi's parents first.

Yet, his older brother didn't say anything. Itachi just turned around, and walked away, without a word.

But Sasuke had seen his expression, and it was heart wrenching.

"Itachi – no – wait!" Sasuke ran after him, grabbing his arm, "I'm sorry – I didn't mean that. I'm so sorry!"

"It's alright, Sasuke," Itachi said wearily, "I know you didn't."

"Really? Because I swear-"

"Drop it."

"Fine," Sasuke muttered, "Fine. Just tell me how long. And what. How far."

"Do you really want to know?" Itachi asked.

"I think I have a right to. It's better I do," Sasuke gritted out.

"A little under a year. From a couple months after his first partner died – Sasori - your teammate, Sakura killed him, incidentally."

"Ah," Sasuke nodded, his heart sinking.

That's longer than I would have thought.

Sakura had told him of the story about how she'd defeated Sasori. He found there was some poetic justice in the fact: he and Sakura, teammates, though they'd been apart then, had killed Deidara and Sasori who had also been teammates.

He'd been secretly proud of his pink-haired friend when he'd found out.

But it didn't matter now. Nothing mattered now. Except the fact that –

"So you were lovers? You've – done – stuff –"

"It would depend on your definition of stuff," Itachi murmured, "But – yes. We were."

Sasuke felt like an entire wave of freezing water jutsu had been poured all over his heart.

"Excellent," he muttered, suddenly finding it a little hard to breathe.

No. No. Why? WHY? Itachi's MY brother! He's mine!

"Sasuke, you hated me then. I had no idea about any of this, that any of this would happen. If I'd known-"

"If you'd known you wouldn't have? Yeah right, Itachi. You knew, this time, even if you thought it was over. And you still did."


"I'm sorry I killed your lover," Sasuke spat bitterly, "Must have been hard for you."

"You should know," Itachi said slowly, "When I heard about that fight, I thought you had both died. And I was very upset. But I was angry with him, rather than with you."

He then turned around and left, leaving Sasuke to ponder his words.

So you care about me more, right, nii-san? So why do you still want him when you see how much it's killing me?

"Wait," Sasuke called suddenly, "Itachi – wait. Don't – don't walk away from me again."

Itachi paused, and turned his head slightly.

Sasuke then realized where they were, where they'd been standing the entire time.

The alleyway of the Uchiha compound. The exact spot they'd stood at years ago, when Sasuke had been a trembling, sobbing, terrified child, and Itachi had been the criminal who had murdered their entire clan.

The spot they'd had their first standoff, the one that had pierced Sasuke's heart in the worst possible way.

And yet now, Sasuke felt those familiar emotions surfacing – hurt, anger, pain, sadness, disbelief – as he attempted to grasp on to a reality that was slipping away, just like his older brother.

He didn't want to accept that Itachi had found someone else.

Just like he hadn't wanted to accept that Itachi had murdered the clan.

He didn't want to picture his brother as something different than what he'd loved, and wanted, and obsessed over and hoped for.

His perfect illusion was breaking, and Sasuke didn't want to let it go.

Itachi turned around slowly, and like back then, his eyes were cold, his face an emotionless mask.

"What do you mean?" the older asked slowly.

"I think you know," Sasuke muttered, "Where we are. What happened here…"

Itachi walked towards him slowly.

"I have never forgotten," he said.

"When I was little," Sasuke went on, "I adored you. You were everything to me. You were my world. And this is where – well, where you destroyed my life."

Itachi's face was still emotionless, though his eyes widened slightly.

"Sasuke, I –"

"I know why you did it," Sasuke said, shaking slightly, "And I don't blame you anymore. In fact I guess I'm grateful to you. But it hurt, the knowledge of what you told me then, it killed me-"

"I'm sorry-"

"And yet," Sasuke swallowed the lump in his throat, blinking away tears, "What you told me right now – I didn't think it was possible Itachi – but in a different way - it hurts just as much."


There was an eerie silence after that, and Sasuke exhaled loudly, biting his lips.

His eyes were stinging but he would not cry, not again, not in front of Itachi.

And then Itachi took another step towards him, before dropping down to his knees.

"Itachi-" Sasuke began, but then froze.

Because Itachi was shaking. His shoulders were shaking, but his head was bowed and his face was obscured by a veil of bangs.

And then he looked up and Sasuke's heart cracked.

Because Itachi was crying.

Sasuke remember, a night from years ago, at that same spot, where he'd seen tears streaming down his brother's cheeks, like stars under the moonlit sky.

He'd thought he'd imagined it, but he hadn't, and Itachi was crying now as well, his beautiful dark eyes and hollowed cheeks wet with tears.

His eyes were filled with such pain, such unimaginable pain, and when they met Sasuke's, Sasuke felt a lurch of guilt.

It was his fault.

Itachi was an angel. A guardian angel. And he was crying.

Angels weren't supposed to cry.

"I'm sorry, Sasuke," Itachi choked, "I always thought I'd been doing everything right – but I was wrong – I was trying to protect you because you were the most important thing to me – you still are – you mean the world to me – but I destroyed your life then, and I'm hurting you now and that's – the last thing I ever wanted…"

"Nii-san," Sasuke cried, his eyes watering, "Nii-san, please don't-"

"After I died – I had so many regrets," Itachi said, "And when I was given another chance with you – I promised myself I would right the wrongs committed years ago – but I've failed, I've failed at being the older brother you longed for – then and now, both times – I failed – and I'll never forgive myself for it - it's no use being a prodigy, being a sought-after genius and master of the Sharingan – not when – I can't even be your older brother –"

"Itachi-nii-san! No! You were perfect – you are perfect-"

"Don't say that, Sasuke!" Itachi shook his head, "I treated you like a child more than anyone else – I only saw you as someone to protect – perhaps it was because you were so precious that I couldn't bear the thought of losing you – but I was wrong –"

Sasuke suddenly had a flash of déjà vu, remembering this conversation from the war, when they'd been battling Kabuto. He had told Itachi the same thing then; and Itachi had given him the same response.

"I don't think perfection actually exists," Itachi murmured, "And I'm as far from it as I can be – because I've hurt you – repeatedly – Sasuke – forgive me… I never wanted any of this from you – I just wanted you to be happy, so – please… forgive me…"

Itachi was looking at him with such a anguished expression and Sasuke just wanted to hug his brother, kiss his tears away.

"Itachi don't say that, I – I love you," Sasuke blurted out, before freezing.

I shouldn't have said that.

But he didn't have time to say more, because at that instant, Itachi's arms were around his middle.

"Sasuke - I'm so – so sorry-"

Itachi was shaking against him, and his tears were wetting Sasuke's shirt, and Sasuke remembered the countless times as a child, when he had been crying, and Itachi had been the one to comfort him.

"Nii-san! Nii-san!" Sasuke sobbed.

Itachi spun around and looked at him, eyes widening in concern.

"Sasuke? What's wrong? Are you alright?"

Sasuke wasn't alright, and he was hurting, and at that moment, he only needed his older brother.

Because Itachi always made him feel better, no matter what.

Itachi always comforted him, and made him feel safe and warm and loved.

"Nii-san, I – " Sasuke began, before bursting into tears.

And Itachi kneeled down, and pulled the crying child towards him, wrapping his arms around Sasuke.

"Shh, it's okay," Itachi whispered, "I'm here now… it's alright, Sasuke…"

He patted Sasuke's head, running his hands soothingly down the crying child's back till his tears subsided.

"Now," Itachi said, pulling away and giving Sasuke a gentle smile as he wiped away a tear from the little boy's chubby cheek with his index finger, "Tell me what's wrong."

Itachi had always been there for Sasuke.

And then there had been that one day. One day when Sasuke had found Itachi, sitting by himself in the dark, in the dojo.

He had a piece of paper clutched in his hands; it was Shisui's suicide note.

That had been the night after the Uchiha police force had confronted Itachi about Shisui's suicide, the night that Itachi had lost his temper and attacked his own kinsmen, the night he'd only stopped when Sasuke had begged him to.

There was something strange about Itachi, Sasuke had noticed.

His brother always acted strong, and he was, but he seemed tense, and rather sad. Sasuke didn't like it.

And that night, seeing Itachi sitting alone on the floor in the dark, an untouched plate of food (that their mother had left there earlier) sitting on the floor outside the dojo… it made Sasuke feel extremely uncomfortable.

He pushed open the door softly.

Itachi, who had been gazing at the crumpled letter in his fists, snapped his head up, his eyes meeting Sasuke's.

"What is it?" Itachi asked, and though his tone wasn't cold, it didn't carry the usual warmth it always had.

"I – I was wondering if nii-san was okay," Sasuke murmured, "I don't want to disturb you Itachi, I know you're busy – but you missed dinner – and I – I miss seeing you."

Itachi stared at him for a moment, before turning back to the paper in his hands.

"I have a mission," was all he said.

"You seem really sad and stressed," Sasuke ventured on, taking a step into the room, "I just don't like seeing you like that."

He slowly made his way over to his older brother.

Itachi said nothing, but looked up after a moment, as Sasuke stood in front of him.

"Nii-san," Sasuke murmured, "I –"

"It's alright," Itachi said, standing up slowly, "Come on."

"You should eat," Sasuke said softly, "You won't be able to do missions if you starve yourself, aniki."

"Don't worry yourself," Itachi said, "I'll be fine."

"But I do worry about you," Sasuke said, "You've been so distant. Are you upset with me? Did I do something wrong? I'm sorry if I did, I really miss you nii-san-"

And then Itachi had done something surprising.

He had dropped to his knees, and pulled his little brother towards him.

"Nii-san!" Sasuke cried, surprised.

He was even more surprised when he felt Itachi shaking against him.

When Itachi looked up, his eyes were wet.

"I'm sorry – Sasuke – I'm not mad at you – I never could be – and you haven't done anything wrong – it's just – this mission…"

Sasuke had never seen Itachi break down like that – his older brother was always so cool and composed.

"Don't worry, nii-san!" Sasuke cried, throwing his chubby arms around Itachi's neck and hugging his older brother tightly, "If you're stressed about the mission, don't be, because I'm sure you'll do it perfectly, you always do missions perfectly!"

And then Itachi had looked at him with an expression of utter agony, and Sasuke hadn't realized what any of it had meant then.

"I know…" Itachi had whispered, before biting his lip, and pulling himself away from Sasuke.

"Come on, it's late and you have academy tomorrow, Sasuke. Let's get you to bed."

It all came flooding back to Sasuke, at that moment, and he looked down at Itachi, who was still on his knees, and more open and vulnerable than Sasuke had ever seen his older brother in his entire life.

And Sasuke hugged him back, relishing the feeling of Itachi's silky hair under his fingers – but he didn't go further than that.

He didn't want to ruin this moment, this precious moment; the first time Itachi had displayed his raw inner emotions. He wanted to cherish it, without tainting it with lecherous thoughts.

He couldn't.

He was causing Itachi pain, such intense pain – and guilt.

And Itachi didn't deserve that.

"Itachi I forgive you," Sasuke said, "Even though it's me who should be asking for forgiveness… you've done so much for me and I can never give anything back-"

"You don't have to," Itachi said, his voice thick, as he looked up at Sasuke again, "All I want is for you to live the happy life you deserve, the life I once took away from you Sasuke. My entire life revolves around you. I'd do almost anything for you."

Almost anything.

Sasuke caught the subtle twist of words – not anything, but almost anything.

"It's ok, nii-san," Sasuke said softly, his heart lurching, "I am happy, when I'm with you. I just want you to be happy too, because you deserve it more than anyone else in this world for everything you've done – and if Deidara gives you that – then I'm glad he's still alive…"

Itachi stood up slowly, and then gazed at Sasuke for a moment.

"Do you really mean that?"

"Yes," Sasuke said immediately.

It wasn't a complete lie. He did want his older brother to be happy, and after seeing how much pain it caused him – Sasuke promised that he wouldn't stand in the way of Itachi's happiness.

"Thank you," Itachi said softly, nodding, and took to the roofs.

I guess we're back to how we were before, Sasuke thought to himself dismally, as he jammed his hands into his pockets and stalked back to the house.


Itachi had a mission that night, and Sasuke opted to crash at Naruto's again. He didn't want to be stuck alone in the compound with Deidara, because he wasn't sure he'd be able to control himself from chidori-ing the blonde.



"We went their last night, I'm not coming again."

"But, ramen!"

"No, Naruto. And it's only five, why are we going to dinner so early?"

"Because I want ramen!"

"If you insist, there's that barbeque place that's open all the time-"

"Ramen! Ramen! Ramen!"

"Usuratonkachi, shut up! Chidori senbon!"

"HEY! You bastard-"

Naruto lunged at Sasuke, who ducked and swung his foot, aiming a roundhouse kick at Naruto, who blocked and threw a punch.

Their little scuffle was just about to evolve into a full-blown taijutsu battle in the marketplace of Konoha, when a sudden chasm ripped across the ground, forcing them apart.

"YOU MORONS!" a familiar voice shrieked, "Seriously? In the middle of the village? Grow up already!"

Sasuke chose not to comment on the fact that she, with the large chasm she had created, had probably caused more damage than the two of them had.

"Sakura-chan!" Naruto half-whined, half-exclaimed, "You interrupted when I was about to kick his ass! What's up though? Also he started it! Nice to see you by the way, come for dinner with us!"

Sakura rolled her eyes.

"Not ramen," she said, ignoring Naruto's subsequent sulking.

"Hello, Sasuke-kun," she greeted amicably, turning to the other boy.

"Hey, Sakura," Sasuke nodded, "Do you want to come for barbeque? I'm not hungry but the idiot here wore himself out sparring me, so-"

"Hey! I did not!" Naruto shouted, "I totally kicked your ass today, believe it!"

"Drop the catchphrase, dead-last, it sucks like you-"

"Seriously," Sakura shook her head, "You two will never grow up. Though incidentally, I saw – um - Itachi-san and Deidara sparring earlier, they're a lot like you-"

"Wait, you saw my brother?" Sasuke asked, ignoring the fact that Sakura had started blushing the moment she'd said Itachi's name, "He's back from his mission, then! When and where?"

"Oh, just now, at the compound," Sakura said shyly, "I went there to find you, Sasuke-kun, and Naruto, since his apartment was empty."

"They were sparring at the compound?"

"Yeah… it seemed pretty intense," Sakura said, "I don't know why they didn't go to a training ground considering Deidara has a propensity to blow things up. How's that going, by the way, having him around?"

"Nii-san and Deidara were sparring at the compound?" Sasuke repeated, suddenly tense.

"Yes, and you don't need to worry," Sakura said, her blush deepening, "Itachi-san is – um – he's very good and – um – I'm sure he'll win, really – he's amazing, nobody can beat him so – um –"

"Sakura, seriously, stop," Sasuke glared at her, and she did.

Naruto snickered.

"Well, I'm going to the compound," Sasuke said suddenly, leaping up.

"What? Why!" Naruto yelled after him, "What about dinner?"

"You and Sakura go find a place to eat," Sasuke called, "I'll join you in a bit."


Sasuke had a weird feeling about Itachi and Deidara's 'spar'.

Itachi had sparred with Deidara before, countless times. He knew how destructive the blonde was and wasn't foolish enough to suggest a spar in the compound.

Moreover, if Itachi had just gotten back from his mission, more fighting was the last thing he would want to do.

Their 'spar' probably hadn't been as much of a spar as it had been an argument; which, when between shinobi, especially S-rank ones, tended to get rather destructive.

Sasuke's suspicions were confirmed, as a large white bird circled over his head once, before landing right in front of him.

A furious blonde jumped down, and glared at him with a surprising animosity.

"YOU!" Deidara spat out viciously, "You fucking brat! I know it was your fault!"

Sasuke was taken aback by the venom in his voice. Deidara looked and sounded positively murderous.

"What?" Sasuke asked.

"Don't 'what' me, yeah!" Deidara growled, clenching his fists, "What the fuck did you tell him? What's your fucking problem, un!"

"I don't know what you're talking about," Sasuke shot back.

"My ass, you don't! Can't you give him a break, hm? Don't you know what he's been through? What we've been through! You fucking asshole, I'll blast you to pieces, yeah!"

Sasuke froze.

"Did Itachi – dump you?"

Deidara looked livid.

"He didn't fucking – he didn't want to!" the blonde exploded, shaking, "I know he didn't – it's your fault. You made him choose! You messed with his head and you made him – fucking – choose!"

"And he chose me," Sasuke stated quietly.

"Of course he did!" Deidara shouted at him, "Itachi loves you – and he'd do anything for you – and you're so fucking selfish, you bastard! You manipulated him, yeah! You made him feel guilty! I know you did-"

"He told you?"

"He didn't tell me anything," Deidara cried his voice thick. He was shaking, whether from out of anger, or something else, Sasuke couldn't tell.

"He didn't – really give me a reason – but I've known Itachi for years, you brat! I've been his teammate, yeah! I knowa little bitabout his past, and though he didn't tell me details, I know enough about his personality to guess that he wasn't actually the cold-blooded murderer he pretended to be. None of us were!"


"You don't know what it's like!" Deidara shouted, his voice screwed up, "You have no idea what any of us went through – what your brother went through! I was – there for him, yeah! I was there for him when –"

"Just get to the point," Sasuke said flatly, feeling rather numb at the realization that Itachi had chosen him, that Itachi had dumped his lover of years, for him.

"He was there for me – after Sasori no danna died – and he always cared about you – and you guilt-tripped him and took advantage of his feelings for you – and you took him away from me – you – YOU SELFISH FUCKING ASSHOLE!" Deidara roared, before hurling a bunch of bombs at Sasuke.


"Chidori stream!" Sasuke yelled, running the electricity outwards into the air and nullifying the bombs.

"I'LL DESTROY YOU, YEAH!" Deidara screamed, "You ruined something beautiful – and I can't forgive someone who messes with perfect art!"

He sent more bombs Sasuke's way, but Sasuke managed to deflect them all with his chidori sword.

"What use will that be, you lunatic?" Sasuke spat, "Itachi will kill you if you lay a finger on me, you know it! Moreover, I already defeated you once, I can do it again!"

"Fuck you!" Deidara shouted, shaking violently.

He clenched his teeth, his blue eyes shimmering, and burning with fury.

He mounted his white bird, and glowered at Sasuke.

"The only reason I'm letting you live," Deidara hissed, "Is because I know how much you mean to Itachi. And unlike you, I care for him enough that I wouldn't try to destroy something that's important to him, yeah!"

And then he had taken to the skies, circling over Sasuke's head.

"I don't know how you two are related, un, because you are nowhere close to anything like Itachi!" Deidara called out, his last words before he disappeared into the horizon.


Sasuke rushed back to the compound, his heart thumping in his chest.

He found Itachi pretty quickly, sitting perfectly still on a large boulder, amidst a pile of rubble. There were burn marks everywhere.

All undoubtedly caused by his 'spar' with Deidara earlier.

"Why did he leave, Itachi?" Sasuke asked.

Itachi didn't look at him, but just continued to stare, straight ahead.

"We had a disagreement," he replied finally, after a moment.

"Is this because of me?" Sasuke asked.

"Don't worry yourself, it doesn't concern you."

"But – I ran into him – and he said-"

"He was upset, and angry. People often say irrational and untrue things in such a state," Itachi replied calmly, standing up.

"Nii-san…" Sasuke began, but he was at a loss of words.

"I have a mission," Itachi stated, "I have to go."

"Again?" Sasuke couldn't help but explain, "You just got back from one-"

"This one is a week long," Itachi added, clenching his fist.

"What? But-"

Itachi unclenched his fist, and something white and powdery streamed down from his fingers.

"I know things have been – strange between us, Sasuke," Itachi said, "But I promise that once I come back from my mission, I'll make it up to you. Everything will go back to normal, like how it was before, okay?"

He glanced over at Sasuke for a brief second, and Sasuke wanted to say something, but then Itachi had disappeared.

Sasuke exhaled heavily, and then sat down, just where Itachi had been sitting moments ago.

Itachi's words rang in his head.

It doesn't concern you. I'll make it up to you. Everything will go back to normal, like how it was before, okay?

Sasuke glanced downwards, and the little pile of white powder that Itachi had been holding. He reached out.

It was soft and smooth, and slightly sticky between his fingers.


It wasn't as if Sasuke needed convincing of the fact, but he truly knew that Itachi was the kindest, most caring, and most self-sacrificing person in the world.

He's sacrificed enough for you already, don't you think, an angry voice, sounding a lot like Naruto, berated in his head. This was one thing he had left! Did you really have to make him sacrifice that, lose that for you as well? After everything he's been through for your sake?

Sasuke hated himself, he really did. The image of Itachi sitting alone, and rigid, amidst the rubble, kept haunting his thoughts. Followed by the image of Itachi down on his knees, tears streaming from his eyes.

You can't do this to him. It's selfish. It's cruel. It's wrong. He's your brother. He deserves better than this, than you.

"I wish I was enough," Sasuke murmured, "I wish I was enough to make everything better for you… to make you happy, nii-san…"


That night, when he dreamt, he dreamt of Itachi, vulnerable and crying. And Sasuke would hug him, and hold him, and kiss him, till it all went away, and till Itachi was content to just lie with him in bed and make love to him.

And after that he dreamt of Itachi on his knees again, in the alleyway of the Uchiha compound, looking up at Sasuke with that same desperate expression, saying the same words.

"I'm so sorry – please forgive me, Sasuke – I'll do anything –"

And then dream Itachi unzipped Sasuke's pants, took his cock in his mouth, and licked and sucked and swirled his tongue around Sasuke's throbbing manhood, while Sasuke threaded his fingers through his brother's hair.

And after Sasuke came, Itachi looked up, and Sasuke's heart jolted.

Because there were still tears, streaming down Itachi's cheeks, and his eyes were red, but not from the Sharingan.

And suddenly, Itachi was gone, and Deidara was standing there, looking livid, and shouting.

"He always cared about you – and you guilt-tripped him and took advantage of his feelings for you! Unlike you, I care for him enough that I wouldn't try to destroy something that's important to him, yeah!"

Sasuke woke up, sweating, his sheets drenched.

"Fuck," he swore into the night, "Itachi… I'm the one who's sorry…"


Author's Note: Hm, that was fun. And you can skip the author's note and review (please review, my loves, pleeease) but I tend to write author's notes because I feel you all are people that I can talk to and express myself to since we are all clearly thinking on the same (slightly depraved) level.

I really wish I knew you guys in person. I do.

Okay. Enough of that. Haha, sorry, I've been extremely emo lately.

So yeah, Sasuke's being a bit of a selfish dick, but he's prone to do that as the manga shows. Inside he's just a squishy ball of Itachi-loving fluff and that'll surface eventually. Oh, and he's also a perv. Haha. In case you didn't catch that. Lol. He's confused and tries to be martyrish but fails because he's so possessive.

And yeah, that SasuNaru - could happen, may happen, may not, who knows?

Next chapter will have more ItaSasu erotica though, sorry if this fell a bit short but I'm on a time crunch.

And OMG the manga how great is he? Like when Itachi fights, he's badass and owns everyone. But now, even when he opens his mouth to talk, everything that comes out of his mouth is epic and badass and gems that should be treasured. We should all make a shrine and devote our lives to Itachi because he is divine. We should kiss the ground he walks on, sleep in his old discarded Akatsuki robes - okay, I need to stop. But I'm seriously obsessed with him, how perfect can he be! He's hot (or realllllly well-drawn haha), kind, self-scarificing, compassionate, badass, epic, awesome at every jutsu, owns everyone - and he's still humble and philosophical and just - wow. I could wet myself intellectually and have a braingasm just thinking about him. And on top of that, physically just - wow. Ok. Stopping. Now. *blushes furiously*

I'm such a fangirl.

But he's perfect. Even Sasuke said it! And that was probably his best line of the manga, since off late he's been saying absolute shit. (anyone noticed that I quote the chapter. Did ya? Did ya?)

And finally - I was watching the English dub ItaSasu fight. And OMIGOD Crispin Freeman! His voice is orgasmic. I don't actually usually watch english dub, prefer the japanese with subs - but that voice - is - WOW.

And I made my first ItaSasu AMV yayyy! It sort of sucks and the quality of the video is bad so I'm too embarrassed to upload it anywhere really. It's on the song Always by Saliva, and it makes me happy. If any of you are interested seeing it, PM me, I guess, but it really sort of sucks video quality-wise.

That's all, friends! (finally, she stops rambling!)