"How are you today, Sasuke-kun?"
Sasuke looked up from his lap. He was sitting in Sasori's room on his bed when he heard Iruka's voice. Iruka and Kakashi had returned.
A month had passed. Sasuke had been placed on anti-depressants and with Iruka talking to Sasuke and Kakashi treating the boy with therapy, the young Uchiha had been doing well.
"Good…" Sasuke said quietly. He pulled his legs up to his chest and wrapped his arms around them to make room for Iruka and Kakashi on the small bed.
"Has anyone been giving you rough treatment?" Iruka smiled.
Sasuke shrugged. "Not as much as they used to. Sasori is good. He looks out for me."
"Do you like Sasori yet?" Kakashi asked.
Sasuke shrugged. "A little. I don't hate him anymore. He's not like everyone else."
"What have you been thinking about, Sasuke? Have you been doing what I taught you for when the bad thoughts come?"
Sasuke nodded. "Yes… Sometimes it doesn't stop the thoughts, though…"
"Sasuke, I told you; thoughts are just like passing cars in the street – they come and go. You need to tell your thoughts to go away. It's easy – it just takes practise, okay? And the nightmares?"
Sasuke sighed. "I write it all out as I dreamt it and then rewrite it to make it funny… I've been doing that."
"And does it help any?" Iruka smiled as he reached out to pat Sasuke's knee.
Sasuke nodded. "It does…"
Kakashi grinned. "It makes it less powerful when you do that. You're doing so well, Sasuke!"
Sasuke weakly smiled back – the first smile both Kakashi and Iruka had ever seen from the boy that wasn't twisted by some dark thought.
"So tell me – what else have you been doing, Sasuke?" Iruka asked. "Is there anything you need to talk about?"
Sasuke shook his head. "I… I feel better… But… I guess I would like to talk about something…"
Iruka nodded while Kakashi pulled his pen and notepad out of his bag.
"…I want to talk about… Father… About what he used to do to us…"
"Of course, Sasuke-kun. When you're ready."
"…" Tears welled up in the boy's eyes. "…Father used to rape Itachi all the time… He even sold my brother to other men… But why didn't he do anything to me…? I don't understand…"
"How does this make you feel, Sasuke-kun?" Iruka whispered. He reached out and stroked Sasuke's hair.
Sasuke shrugged. "…I don't know…"
"Did you want him to do something to you?" Kakashi asked, scribbling on his notepad.
Sasuke shrugged again. "…I… don't know… I feel like… Itachi was better than me, or something… I don't know how to explain it…"
"Sasuke, what your brother has been through is absolutely repulsing." Iruka said softly. "The thing is, you should be glad that it didn't happen to you as well. I know that it's probably confusing for you and makes you feel beneath Itachi, or something to that degree, but you should be happy that you were safe."
"I know…" Sasuke whispered as he wiped at his eyes. "I know…"
"How do you feel about your brother, Sasuke?" Kakashi asked. "I mean now. How do you feel about him now?"
"…" Tears dripped down Sasuke's cheeks. "…I… I know that he did love me… I was too scared to believe it… But my mother and Itachi… were the only ones to have ever cared… Was I wrong in trying to kill my brother, Iruka…?"
"No." Both doctors said without hesitation.
"You were extremely ill, Sasuke." Kakashi spoke. "You were only doing what you believed was the right thing to do. Besides – I heard that your brother is out of hospital and attending therapy sessions."
Sasuke choked on a sob. "…Please… Just leave me alone…"
Kakashi left silently while Iruka hung back. The brown-haired male wrapped his arms around Sasuke before releasing him.
"We'll always be on your side, okay?" Iruka whispered to the boy. "If anything happens, you can count on us."
Sasuke nodded. He heard the Umino's footsteps leave the room. He lay down on the bed and wrapped himself in his blankets like a cocoon. The Uchiha was aware of Sasori entering the room just minutes later, but the small redhead was respectful enough to leave the boy alone.
Three months had passed. Itachi lay on his bed, staring at the roof. He could hear his parents fighting again, and he was scared. Fugaku went extra hard on him now that Sasuke was gone.
"Sasuke…" Itachi whispered, pulling the blankets over him like a pitiful shield. He was aware of his mother's pained squeals and it made him begin to shake harder than he already was. "Mother…"
Itachi whimpered and tensed, curling further in on himself, as he heard his mother's bloodcurdling scream. Tears ran in rivers down the male's cheeks as he rocked himself back and forth. He soon lost himself in his own world – until someone had grabbed him by the hair and thrown him off the bed.
"F-father…!" Itachi whimpered as he curled up into a ball. He put one arm out in front of him like a shield. "F-father, please…!"
Itachi chanced a look up at his father when he heard something click. He gulped before screaming at the sight of the handgun in his father's hand.
"Come here, Itachi." Fugaku snarled, brandishing the gun. He pulled on the trigger and a bullet flew past his son's leg after several seconds of waiting. "You're the one who makes me do this! You need to be taught what those disgusting pigs of men do to each other! I know that if I didn't teach you what gay men do, you'd have turned out to be filthy – just like them!"
Fugaku lunged forward and grabbed at Itachi's hair, pulling again. The younger man screamed and tried to pull away. As he got a better grip on the roots of his son's hair, he yanked harshly, landing a kick into the younger's side while he was at it. He struggled to remove the boy's shirt, getting as far as knocking off a few shirt buttons and slipping the loose tracksuit pants down his hips.
"Get up!" Fugaku shouted. "Get up, whore!"
"No!" Itachi screamed as he struggled to get away. As his father's hand brushed against his cheek, he did something that he had never done before – he bit his father's finger hard enough to draw blood.
Fugaku pulled away with a yelp. Never before had any of his family ever fought back against him. He grabbed his bloody hand and looked down at Itachi. The young man was curled up in a ball, quivering and crying hysterically.
Fugaku's eyes widened as he became aware of the gun in his hand. He lifted his hand and looked at the silver metal.
"Itachi…" Fugaku whispered.
Itachi refused to look up at his father. Instead, he curled up even more and ducked his head in between his arms. Everything was silent for just a few moments more before a loud bang made him jump.
Itachi quickly looked at where his father stood. His eyes widened and he felt bile rising from the depths of his stomach. His father was on the ground in a puddle of blood and brains. Blood and brains splattered the wall behind him.
Itachi wasn't sure of how long it had taken his mother to get there, but he was soon wrapped in a blanket as he lay in his mother's lap while police poked around the room. He was vaguely aware of someone carrying him out of the house and into an ambulance. He lay down almost immediately on the stretcher, pulling his favourite blanket higher over his body.
Itachi wasn't even aware of how he had gotten into a hospital room, but he knew that he was in one, because his mother was sitting with him and he recognised the nurse that was caring for him as the same one from the last time he had been hospitalised.
And then, the next thing that Itachi knew, he was back home in his bed, and slumped over said object was his mother, a bloodied knife in her hand and slit wrists. He couldn't move, couldn't speak – could only stare at the one person he had that he could trust and talk to.
A/N Having both of their parents die was actually unplanned, but I desperately needed to torture something and get my mind off things, and what better way than to torture than an Uchiha?