You're a good actor, Itachi.

You hold yourself together, so that nobody sees that you're in a million pieces. No one knows that you've been shattered, that you're vulnerable. You wear a mask- you wear a thousand masks, each one more opaque than the last- the dutiful son, the scholarly student, the faithful shinobi. You hide yourself behind masks, one after the other, praying that they won't slip and reveal who you really are- a child, pitiful, helpless, and weak.

(You never grew up, Itachi.)

You don't have a mother to cry for anymore, when the memories are too much. You don't have a father to pat your back and tell you it'll be alright. All you have is me, and my comfort is sorely lacking. You starve for affection, but I simply can't give it to you. I'm not that kind of man.

Bite your lip and tell your lies- you've fooled the world, but you can never fool yourself.

Go onstage and play your part, like the good little pawn you are. Bow your head sadly, like a captive bird. Beat your clipped and bloody wings against your rusted cage, singing your melancholy song.

I almost pity you.

Then again, almost is the most important word.