Empty Cradles – Part 1
A/N: Welcome to the oneshot (twoshot…) I've written for Always-Unpredictable as a prize for being my 500th reviewer of my KakaIru fanfiction, 'The Greatest Thing You'll Ever Learn'. I won't spoil the fic by showing you my prompt, but I'm sticking (hopefully with A-U's blessing) within my perversion of the canon similar to my ItaSasu fic, 'Buried Alive', which I totally recommend you read (not that I'm inserting a shameless plug here or anything). This is a prequel of sorts, centring around Itachi rather than Sasuke, and from Itachi's point of view. It's split into three parts, the first before the massacre of the Uchiha clan, the second very shortly after the first, and the third immediately after the massacre. You'll know when the scenes split :) So that's how this fic came about. I'm sticking to the same format I use for all my fics, which means you get a song of the fic. The major inspiration for this fic, other than the prompt, was the song 'Because of You' by Kelly Clarkson. Yes, it springs instantly to mind when you think of the Uchiha brothers. No matter what your opinions about Sasuke and Itachi (especially regarding the former's complete axe-crazy-almost-complete-monster actions and the latter's freakin' genocide). Also, I DEEPLY APOLOGISE FOR THIS BEING SO FUCKING LATE.
This is thinking/dreaming.
"Anything in italics and quotes is written stuff…kukuku…"
This is regular story.
This is author's note.
This is title
Warning: Graphic sexual content. Although that's not intended to be the focus of the fic, there is graphic sexual content on two counts. 1) Brother-brother incest, which borders on child molestation. I always work with 13 as the legal age of consent; in this fic, Itachi is 13 and Sasuke is 8. I in no way endorse or condone paedophilia, child molestation, grooming, rape or incest. Yes, I have a little brother, and I do understand what it's like to have a sibling, so refrain from flaming for that. 2) Semi-non-con. Sort of kind of dub-con. That means dubiously consensual sex; it's mostly coercion/prostitution, but that doesn't make it okay. It also involves a 13 year old kid, so your mileage may vary on whether that's paedophilia or not. I'm also trying not to use much Japanese, since the story is written in English, but I can't not use the epically cute child!Sasuke speak!
Disclaimer: Naruto is the property of Masashi Kishimoto, and I am in no way affiliated with Naruto or any of its associated labels and products. I don't make any profit from this fic, it's basically a fan-work gift for another member of ff dot net. Please refrain from taking any and all legal action against me.
I watched you die, I heard you cry
Every night in your sleep
I was so young, you should have known
Better than to lean on me
"Nii-chan! Nii-chan! I want to go to swimming in the river with you!" A familiar voice squeaked from behind me, a small hand clinging to the back of my shirt. Even though he was eight, he still acted like a tiny child. Eight wasn't so young, and there were times when I wanted Sasuke to grow up. But now wasn't one of those times.
"I'm sorry, Sasuke," I replied, turning around to make my excuse. "I don't have time this afternoon, Father wants me to attend a meeting with the clan elders and-"
"But Nii-chan, you promised you'd go last week and you never did," His little mouth pouted, soft lower lip sticking out, a pretty shade of rosy pink. Big dark eyes stared out, an innocent soul lurking in the darkness. Delicate, pale hands tangled in the front of my shirt, pinning me in place. "You promised,"
"If Father wants me to go, then I have no choice," I said. It was true; it was all a part of my duty. Not just to my clan, but to Konoha. I had my orders, and I had my deadline. This was the last meeting, the last chance to gather information before I had to do it. I was doing all I could to say emotionally detached, but Sasuke's little face was making my resolve crumble.
I wouldn't be able to kill my little brother, but equally I wouldn't be able to leave him innocent.
"It's just the one meeting. They can do without you," He pleaded, eyes growing impossibly wider and deeper, rising up onto his toes. I wanted to raise my hand and run it over that face, to touch the skin that looked so much like porcelain, but felt delicately baby soft and untarnished by harsh training. I wanted to touch it before I had to leave, even though it would hurt both of us more. "Please,"
Tomorrow, the first step of my plan would fall into place. I would wipe out each and every member of our clan, leaving poor, innocent little Sasuke in the wake of my destruction. I would run off and join Akatsuki, thus making myself the villain and Sasuke the tragic hero, harbouring enough hatred to redeem our family by killing me in the future.
He would hate me. By the time he was my age, just thirteen, he would realise that what I had done was monstrous. All my lingering touches, a fleeting kiss that I had made him promise never to tell our parents about, stares that went on for too long, sleeping in the same bed despite our ages; I knew I was sick and despicable. Sasuke was my one weakness and another filthy secret to add to the growing pile. He would hate me, and then he would kill me.
That was the plan, at least. I had had to beg for Sasuke to be spared. No one knew of my plan, not even the man who visited me in the dead of night and trained the eyes that I had killed to obtain, not the council that ordered the massacre, and especially not Sasuke.
If I was to destroy his life forever in less than twenty four hours, then I supposed I could indulge him one last time.
"Just for a little while, then," I acquiesced, reaching down to gently unlatch his fingers from my shirt, dropping them before I could let the hold linger. I had hidden my perversity from my family for years; they didn't need to find out about it now. Even if they suspected, it would be useless. They'd be dead soon.
"Yay! Thank you, Nii-chan! I love you!" Sasuke squealed, grinning widely. I wanted to smile back and watch as his grin grew impossibly wider, the way it did whenever I let myself smile for him. It made me feel halfway normal, like an ordinary older brother making his younger brother happy in normal ways. I never had enough time for him, and what time I did devote to him was mostly training, but I would never hear him complain. It was only when he decided we had to do something non-ninja-related that we'd do something halfway normal.
And even then my ridiculous lust had to mess it all up.
"Silly little brother," I bit the inside of my lip discreetly, repressing a smile at my line. I wanted to return the sentiment, but my love would be a different kind of love, the kind children don't understand, and Sasuke was definitely a child. He meant the platonic, sibling type love that all children are obliged to feel for their brother or sister, combined with a good dose of hero worship that I did little to dissuade. I meant something else.
The clan could wait. Father could wait. Konoha could wait. I wanted to spend time with my little brother. It was the least I could do, but he didn't see it that way.
I had had increasingly less time to spend with Sasuke since my promotion to ANBU captain, the missions I was assigned becomingly riskier and longer. By the tender age of thirteen, I had seen and caused more bloodshed than I should have in a lifetime, and I knew it showed in my demeanour. I had never been carefree like Sasuke, but I had never actively shut him out. No one saw it happening but me; I could feel myself distancing us. I didn't want my bloody taint to mar my precious little brother.
I was supposed to distance myself, anyway. The laws of adolescence demanded that I desire to leave my family behind and try to establish some independence because I was getting to the age where girls and impressing my friends was the centre of my interest. I didn't have many friends my age to impress, not that they needed any more demonstrations of my prowess. And I wasn't interested in girls.
I had heard the conversations between other males, all about who was in a relationship with whom and who was casually fucking whom. They gossiped like old women at times, but even the youngest of them were experienced sexually. I was younger than all of them, and I had zero experience with the opposite sex. I had no desire to be with a woman.
No, I only desired my own little brother.
It was undeniable as I watched his little form race away back towards the house, the cool breeze ruffling his hair and brushing across his cheeks the way I desperately wanted to. Fleeting or brotherly contact wasn't enough. I had let myself slip before, but I couldn't let myself slip again.
I followed him back to the house, the large, traditional building all in panels of light and dark, bathed in warm sunlight. We had grown up in that house. So had our father, and our grandfather, and generations before that. It was a base of memories.
A warm drink on the wooden porch around the back on a winter's day, looking at the snow. Sasuke snuggled into my side. I permitted it to happen, even though I knew he was pretending to be asleep. Before that, mealtimes with a bratty little Sasuke looking longingly at a piece of food on my plate, Mother telling him off for being greedy while he pouted and inched his little body closer and closer to mine. Even before that, holding him as an infant wrapped in a blanket, looking down at his wide, dark eyes and realising that my duty to this tiny little bundle of pale skin, dark eyes and quiet breathing outstripped everything else.
I was truly the most privileged person in the world. I got to watch Sasuke grow up. Eight years wasn't enough, but it would have to do.
Entering the house, I evaded Mother with little effort. I had deceived her for years; a day or two more wouldn't be difficult. Either way, I had no business with my mother. It was my father I wanted to speak to.
Silently, I approached the sliding door to his office, knocking gently.
"Enter," He called from within, and I slid back the door. Like much of the house, the office was all set in whites and creams and black, with the exception of a large Uchiha fan painted in a stylised mural across the back wall. A low table occupied the room, smaller tables holding vases with delicate flowers that Mother changed every three days. It was mostly for show; the room wasn't particularly comfortable, deliberately so. It was a great shame to be called to Father's office, though Sasuke somehow managed to surpass the number of times I was called to the office in my entire life by the time he was four. The atmosphere never wore off, though. I felt absurdly uncomfortable setting foot through the door.
What did it matter? Father would be dead soon, and then Sasuke could never be called to the office again, and I'd never have to wipe the tears he tried so hard to hide from his cheeks after being told once again that he wasn't excelling as much as he should have been.
"I'm unable to attend the meeting today," I said softly.
"This is unlike you, Itachi," He replied, not looking up from where he sat at his desk. "You know better than this. These meetings are not optional, and I fully expect to see you there. Have I made myself clear?"
"Yes, Father," I spoke, masking my voice to be the perfect little doll. Let him believe what he would.
The water was cool around my calves. I hadn't allowed Sasuke to venture into any water deeper than my knees, but he had somehow managed to completely drench himself anyway, and had taken off most of his clothes. Though I had hoped paddling would be enough, I should have known it wouldn't be.
"You're not playing right, Nii-chan!" Sasuke wailed. One of his wet hands bunched in the fabric of my trousers, leaving a damp patch. "If you don't do it right, I'm going to splash you!"
"Were we playing tag?" I asked, watching as his little face crumpled with disappointment. I hadn't been paying attention. Even though I had promised to come and play, my mind was still elsewhere.
He moved quickly; not quickly enough that I couldn't have evaded if I had tried, but quickly enough to prove he wasn't as bad as Father made him out to be. Pale hands brushed the water, sweeping a spray of cold droplets through the air to connect with my body. I feigned horror for a second, staring down at the dark marks blossoming across my chest and legs, and then smirked. Sasuke giggled as I kicked the water, aiming too far to the right and missing him completely, before giving chase.
Before I knew it, my clothes were soaked through, tendrils of my hair sticking to my face. Somehow we had gotten into water far deeper than I had intended, and I couldn't help but worry a little. The current was stronger here, and Sasuke was being forced to jump awkwardly to run.
My fingers closed around his wrist, and I pulled him back into my chest before he could get any further downstream. If I remembered correctly, this was where the bed of the river dropped off, becoming closer to a proper, fast-moving river rather than the stream we had been playing in.
"Aw, you caught me," He mumbled. He looked up, roughly pushing a damp patch of hair out of one eye. "Will you chase me now?"
I couldn't stop myself. Those eyes were too dark and that skin was too white, and the warmth of his little body held against mine in the cold water was too much. My lips connected with his forehead before I knew what I was doing.
There was a chance that we would die tomorrow. I might have horribly underestimated the strength of the Uchiha clan, and they might take me out before I could do any real damage. Or Sasuke might be caught up in the violence, his throat slit before I could stop myself.
I needed to regain complete control over myself again.
But I really didn't want to.
My arms tightened, one hand slipping down to hold onto his hip to raise him up a little. His shirt was long gone; nothing protected him from the cold water but his drenched underwear, and even that was slipping down his hips, gently assisted by my fingers. I buried my nose in his hair, inhaling the smell of river and shampoo and Sasuke.
"N-nii-chan? What are you doing?" He asked. His voice didn't waver. If he knew what I was doing, his voice would have wavered. He couldn't pretend like I could. I really was destroying his innocence.
I couldn't deny the arousal I felt swelling within my soaked trousers. Wrong, wrong, wrong, but I couldn't seem to stop. I desperately wanted to touch more of his skin, to brush it all with my fingertips and tongue and rub my body against it so hard we'd melt into one being. My other hand glided across his stomach, tickling teasingly, and drawing that beautiful, childish giggle from his lips. I wanted to kiss them again, but I didn't know how to explain to him that we shouldn't kiss like that afterwards. He wouldn't protest. I could probably take him right there, in the middle of the river, and he wouldn't protest.
No, he was eight. I couldn't do that to a child.
Instead, I pressed my lips to the side of his neck. He squirmed a little, moving within my grasp. I nearly gasped when the tips of my fingers brushed against the tiny, childlike member concealed by his thin underwear. I shouldn't touch. There was no way I could possibly justify touching, other than giving him an impromptu hands-on sex education lesson, which was definitely not the ideal way to spend the remaining hours I had as a Konoha ninja.
Against all logic, I touched him again. We had hours. Just hours, and then I would be gone forever. This Itachi, the one currently molesting his little brother under the veil of childish play, would effectively kill himself in Sasuke's eyes, replaced with the heartless monster who murdered countless innocents.
"Nii-chan, Mama said no one is supposed to touch there," Sasuke whispered. He arched back into me, enough for my desperate mind to pretend that it was in pleasure, rather than in discomfort. Fortunately, he didn't push backwards hard enough or at the right angle to feel my growing erection through my clothes. I would have had a horrendous time explaining that.
The hand on his stomach slid upwards, tracing across the flat, undeveloped planes of his chest, brushing over nipples erect with cold, memorising every line and every detail. The change in texture where his ribcage met his abdomen. The smooth line of a tiny scar. I would remember it all.
I was so distracted by my brother's body that I didn't notice our father approaching. Or maybe I did. I probably wouldn't have stopped there unless I was interrupted.
"Sasuke. Go home," Both of our heads jerked up, looking towards the sound of his stern voice. He stood stock still, eyes taking in the picture before him, a look of horror plainly plastered across his face.
"But Father, I-" Sasuke began. I thanked the gods he was too innocent to know what I had done, to know why our father was looking at us like that. Looking at me like that. Sasuke had done nothing wrong.
"This is non-negotiable, Sasuke," He said stiffly.
"Fine," Sasuke pouted, looking up at me again. "Play with me later, Nii-chan?"
"Of course," I smiled. I gave him one last smile, though I knew when he thought back to this moment in years to come the smile would make all my actions that much more horrible. He returned the smile with a happy grin; he'd hate that, too. Victims weren't supposed to smile at their abusers.
"Now, Sasuke," Father commanded. I let Sasuke slip from my arms and watched as he loped upstream to collect the rest of his clothes, disappearing from view around a tree.
There was a moment of quiet that stretched on longer than any moment realistically should have. In fact, it was probably closer to minutes than to a moment. The water was cold, but my father's eyes were colder. I probably should have gotten out of the water, but the look in his eyes told me that if I tried to move, to set one foot in the same direction as Sasuke, I would receive a fireball to the face.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?" His voice was hot with anger, eyes normally so calm incensed with fury. "What the fuck was that I just saw?"
"Sasuke asked me to play with him," I replied innocently, though I was anything but. I could have laughed at myself.
"But not play with him! I'm sure you understand the difference between right and wrong, especially in regards to – to sex. He's your brother, for god's sake! You can't do that to your brother!" He was struggling to keep his voice under control. Sasuke was still close enough to hear.
"He didn't understand. He'll forget soon enough," I said calmly, walking forward. If he struck out at me, I could easily dodge, but I'd let him hit me anyway. I'd rather he vent his anger on me now than think about the implications for Sasuke.
Either way, he couldn't do anything about it. I'd already committed the crime, in his eyes.
"That doesn't change what you did, Itachi. I can't allow this to slide. You skip a very important meeting so you can violate your own little brother…" His voice tailed off as he reached forward and seized my wrist, like I was a naughty child being dragged home by their mother. It was the first time he had ever done something like that. "You know what? You're coming back with me, and we'll talk about this in my office. Your mother doesn't have to know, it would kill her. And then we can talk about what's going to happen next. I think a nice, long mission to some far-away country would do perfectly,"
A/N: So, second part will be posted when it's properly edited. I hope you enjoyed this ^^