A/N: Written while listening to Gotye's Bronte, and Florence + the Machine's Never Let Me Go. A random thing that clawed at me and wouldn't let go...
Unsure steps took them to the Nakano River that night, Itachi holding him by the elbow, his grip almost talon-like against the other's arm. When Shisui asks him what it looked like, Itachi's voice carries in whispers like the wind through the rushes around them: "There is nothing to see." …For on a night like this, when even the light of the moon refused to shine down on them, Konoha was pitch black, save for the soft glow of lanterns in the distance. But the river- The river was ominously quiet, patient, little waves lapping over each other. If one listened carefully, it was as if she were calling, ever so softly over the gentle breeze that carried through their hair.
When his feet touched that cold wetness, Shisui almost stepped back onto the bank. A moment of indecision: a moment he quickly recovered from. Itachi's hand on his chest held him steady as he slipped in a little deeper now, water lapping the skin around his ankles, and very soon, his shins. Darkness circling those legs that once gave him the title Shunshin no Shisui, eager to pull him in.
She may be quiet tonight, but the Nakano was greedy.
She always had been.
Shisui nodded, walking further into the water, the water now licking his knees. Itachi's grip was tight around him, and Shisui chuckled. "Please remember to let me go, Itachi…"
He didn't have to see it to know, was silently thankful that he had no eyes to confirm it. The way those fingers curled in the front of his shirt, gripping fabric tight—the whispers on the wind were louder here, but Shisui knew Itachi was crying.
He stepped further into the Nakano, until his chest felt the iciness of her unforgiving waters. Fingers skimmed the water 'neath him, holding on to nothing, tips quickly becoming numb. If he was shaking, it was only because it was so cold.
Itachi pulled him close when he felt Shisui's knees give way, that curly mop of hair resting against the arm that held on to Shisui's shoulders. Itachi's free hand stayed on Shisui's chest, his heart beat steady as a drum under the ice. The grip on Shisui's shoulder tightened, and it took the younger one all his will to lower his friend into the water. Itachi couldn't bear to look at him, but he felt cold hands grip his own under the water, and it was only natural for his eyes to wander over to Shisui's face. He didn't need moonlight to tell that Shisui was smiling.
Water lapping the sides of his face, his hair waving through the ripples like short kelp, Shisui spoke again. Whispers on the waves…
"My body is merely a vessel. Someday… we will all have to let ours go. My eyes—they held the power of the gods, but I am no god, Itachi. I do not wish to be a tool. I do not wish to be bound by the laws that govern the shinobi world and live to see the people I love suffer under the hands of an unworthy god. But my spirit… " Itachi felt the grip on his hand tighten then. "I will not die, dear brother. For as long as the Will of Fire burns, I will not die. Do not think of me as dead."
Itachi nodded dumbly, tears raining down on the water that was so eager to take the other. It made sense. Shisui made perfect sense, and he had agreed to this weeks ago when the other had first mentioned it to him. But now, the moment was here, and Shisui was slipping in his arms. The river seemed more eager than when they had started out, and Itachi opened his mouth to cry out, beg for more time. Just a minute, a second, a moment longer.
"Itachi… Remember your promise." Whispers on the waves… And when he looked down, Shisui was still smiling.
…Smiling even as the water completely covered him, and Itachi sobbed, begging for time, begging for a way out, begging silently.
When Shisui jerked, he held him down. Let the other grip onto him any which way he wanted, let him tear at skin or pull his arm out of his socket. Bubbles rose to the surface, kicks broke out and splashed around them—Now Itachi wished that it would all be over. Fingers gripped those curls under water.
It felt like hours, but the Nakano was quiet again. The water around them was once more still. Itachi dare not look into the water then, but he had to pry Shisui's frozen fingers away from his own. His chest heaved with the breath that he took later, turning, eventually, to look at his friend. Ashen under the water, Shisui's lips were still twitched into a smile that was almost not there.
That was enough to let him go…
And he watched as Konoha claimed yet another shinobi.
Itachi… Remember your promise.
Whispers on the wind, whispers on the waves. The reflection in the still waters still smile back at him. The fire in Naruto's blue eyes remind him once more, and he tells Shisui, with utmost conviction: "Soon, brother."
Naruto can only wonder why Itachi looks at him like that.
…And the Nakano babbles and laughs, waiting. Waiting to be set free, waiting for a reunion, waiting for a promise fulfilled.