Lesson No. 3 The Power Of A Promise
Warnings; Mentions of abuse, graphic results of violence, over-all not for the weak of heart.
A/N: This is and will always be for my greatest savior and bestest friend Stephy. Seriously what the hell would I do without you?
Disclaimer; I don't even have a bank account so I'm quite sure I can't own Naruto.
Itachi awoke slowly and sluggishly, but he felt amazing. Completely rested which was rather odd for the insomniac. Though he could probably thank the sleeping boy curled into his chest for such a restful night. He gently kissed the messy midnight locks.
'I promise, Tobi, that from this day forward I will protect you in every way possible that I can manage or I'll die trying…' Itachi sighed softly through his nose and let his eyes flutter closed. He wasn't about to leave Tobi. That would just upset the teen even more than he already was. He snuggled down into the covers and Tobi's hair ignoring the stench that came with it. He'd be taking a shower today.
Tobi stirred and then stiffened a whimper escaping his lips causing Itachi's onyx eyes to fly open. He pulled back and gently took Tobi's troubled face into his hands. The golden-orange eyes were unfocused and scared like he was going through a nightmare and then suddenly woke up to one.
"Tobi…?" Itachi tried softly attempting to get the younger to come to. A tear slipped from Tobi's lower lid and another whimper made itself known.
"Tobi… It's okay. It's just Itachi…" The elder trailed off unsure of if the other teen even heard him. Tobi's eyes widened slightly sparkling with something like hope.
"'Tachi-san?" He pleaded softly desperately wanting it to be him and not just another hallucination he was having in this hell of his. Itachi nodded.
"It's okay Tobi. You're safe now, I promise." Tobi nodded tears spilling onto his cheeks and blurring his vision. He was beyond relieved. He was free, finally free from them. He was back where he always wanted to be, with Itachi.
Itachi sighed lightly gently wiping away Tobi's tears. It caused a constricting pain in his chest to see his best friend cry so readily. He then pulled the younger back into his embrace shushing him gently. He knew he had to take care of Tobi. He was the only person he could count on right now. And for some reason Itachi really liked that…
"'T-Tachi-san?" Tobi asked gently.
"Hm?" He hummed in response.
"C-Can we m-maybe eat?" The question was emphasized with the growling of his stomach. Itachi nodded pulling back and smiling.
"Of course we can Tobi. What do you want to eat?" Tobi swallowed visibly nervous.
"I-I get to ch-choose?" He stuttered as Itachi frowned furrowing his eye brows.
"Of course you do. You're my guest." Tobi glanced around nervously sliding out of Itachi's grip and sitting up looking blankly at the wall.
"I-I don't want to choose…" He whispered softly. Itachi sat up anger rising in him, but he pushed it back down. Anger will do him no good right now. It's not Tobi's fault. Itachi gently put a hand on his back rubbing softly.
"You don't want to or you're afraid to?" Itachi asked gently.
"A-Afraid…" He whispered flinching when Itachi sighed softly.
"Tobi. I promise nothing will happen to you. You're safe remember?" Tobi looked at him warily.
"A-Are you sure?" Itachi nodded.
"So just tell me what you want for breakfast." Tobi swallowed and averted his eyes.
"Some fruit, milk, and toast with jelly…" Itachi smiled.
"Sounds good to me. Let's go, okay?" Tobi nodded giving Itachi a small smile as they both climbed out of bed. So they were off to a rocky-ish start. No harm done. They still have the whole day.
Tobi followed Itachi into the kitchen closely and decided to take up residence on a chair. He'd much rather sat on the counter, but he wasn't going to push his luck. Itachi had been nice to him so far and he really believed him, it's just he didn't want to overstay his welcome or irritate his only hope. Itachi pursed his lips looking at Tobi and shook his head.
"That's not right." Tobi's heart began to drop…
"C'mere. You should be up on the counter." He said with a smile beckoning the other teen over by patting the counter. A grin broke out on Tobi's face as he padded over and hoisted himself up carefully onto the counter. Itachi smiled.
"Better." He was happy to restore some bit of normalcy to this scene.
"Now," He started glancing around the kitchen, "What fruits do you want?" Tobi looked around too spotting some bananas, apples, and baby oranges. He pointed at them in silent answer. Itachi nodded and walked over to the fridge to look in there as well.
"There are also strawberries, grapes, watermelon and a… mango?" He picked up the fruit and looked it over before nodding.
"Yeah a mango." Tobi swallowed.
"A-All of them sound really good…" He trailed off a little wistfully. Itachi smiled.
"Then all of them it is!" He said pulling out the large bowl of strawberries already ready to eat, the grapes in the same condition, and the mango. He knocked the fridge shut with his foot and placed the fruits on the counter. Tobi opened his mouth to say something, but promptly closed it piquing Itachi's curiosity.
"Yes Tobi?" He asked drying the now washed mango. Tobi shook his head as a knife and cutting board were pulled out. He quirked an eyebrow slicing into the succulent tropical fruit.
"You sure?" Tobi swallowed eyeing the knife uncertainly. Itachi put it down noticing the fearful glint in his eyes.
"You can tell me Tobi." He nodded.
"It's just… Well… How come you left the watermelon in the fridge?" Itachi smiled.
"I figured we'd eat that last so I wanted it to stay cold. If you want you can some of the grapes or the strawberries. I don't mind." Tobi nodded and pulled a strawberry from the large bowl.
Itachi rolled his eyes at his own stupidity before grabbing a bowl and placing it next to the cutting board. He seriously needed to pay more attention right now. He couldn't afford to get hurt or something like that. He had Tobi to worry about now. He picked up the knife again slicing the fruit into small chunks before plopping them into the bowl and placing both the knife and the cutting board in the sink. Curious as to the sweetness of the fruit he sucked the juices off of his index finger slowly. He smiled approvingly before washing his hands in steamy water.
"Tobi you wanna wash your hands?" He asked looking back at the younger teen popping grapes into his mouth at a steady pace. He smiled.
"Tobi?" The other looked over at him and hummed through his full mouth. Itachi laughed shaking his head.
"Did you plan on saving any for me?" Tobi blushed swallowing a sheepish smile on his face as he nodded. Itachi rolled his eyes.
"C'mon and wash your hands I'll get the plates and forks." Tobi nodded hopping down and padding over as Itachi set the table. He placed the fruits on the table in their respective bowls and gave each a serving spoon. He then grabbed two glasses and poured the milk into them before replacing the jug back into the fridge.
Tobi turned to see everything out and already done. He smiled and walked over sitting down gingerly. Itachi frowned noticing this and just hoped his assumption was wrong, though he had an inkling that he couldn't've been more right if he were there with him. Tobi tore into the food eating so fast he acquired the hiccups more than five times during the course of their short breakfast. Itachi on the other hand ate slower watching the other teen carefully. He'd lost some weight while he was gone, but he still had a healthy appetite so no need to worry there. Itachi swallowed the questions rising in his chest. It wouldn't be right for him to ruin their nice breakfast. All in due time he knew Tobi would tell him. But he wasn't about to push it.
Tobi finished with a sigh. He realized that he ate the majority of the fruit and that they'd failed to even make the toast yet he was still content. He didn't have a reason not to be. Itachi smiled at him warmly getting the dishes and putting them in the sink for later. He turned and looked at Tobi who smiled at him.
"Thank you." Itachi nodded.
"You need a shower." Tobi swallowed shaking his head. He wasn't ready to be alone. He knew he couldn't face his reflection in the mirror. He wasn't ready for to look at his broken and abused body. He couldn't do this alone. Tears began to drip down his face. Itachi sighed softly.
"I-I can't do it a-alone…" Itachi walked over wiping at the younger's tears.
"You don't have to do it alone, Tobi. I'm right here." Itachi held out his hand to Tobi. He looked at it a moment before taking it and letting himself be led by Itachi. He swallowed nervously.
'Is this okay…? Does he even want me here? Or am I just a burden to everyone?' Itachi dropped his hand and Tobi cried out at the loss of contact. Itachi's eyes widened as he spun around to see Tobi crying again. He pulled Tobi into a hug and felt the younger melt into him.
"Shhh… It's okay Tobi. I'm right here. I'm not leaving you. I'm just getting us some clean clothes okay?" Tobi sniffled a few times, but pulled back rubbing at his eyes. He nodded and Itachi smiled warmly and reassuringly at the other.
He turned back around and pulled out two pairs of boxers, both of them a deep navy color and made of a silken fabric, the only difference was the sizing. He shut the top drawer and pulled open the second. He picked out two pairs of sweats one a faded neon orange the other plain gray. He shut that drawer as well and pulled out the bottom drawer. He shuffled the contents around looking for the hoodie that he knew would make Tobi the happiest. He smiled as he pulled it out. It was once black, but had long since faded to a dark grey. On the back was the Uchiha crest in all its crackled and worn glory. He set the pile of clothes on the ground as he shut the drawer and promptly picked it up before taking hold of Tobi's hand.
He led him down the hall and took a right into a lavish bathroom. It looked down right girly, but it wasn't his place to judge after all if Itachi liked all these flowers and this pink tub then he'd accept it willingly.
Itachi drop Tobi's hand again opening a cabinet and pulling out three towels. He turned and smiled at Tobi before taking his hand again and leading him into a different much more masculine bathroom. Tobi was slightly relieved. He didn't know if he could handle that much pink. He had a hard time even looking at Sakura for that very reason. This bathroom was primarily black and white, but very inviting and cozy. Itachi dropped his hand again placing the towels on the closed toilet seat. He put the clothes on the counter and slipped passed the younger teen to close the door before he began to strip out of his fitted white v-neck.
"W-What're you doing?" Itachi looked up at Tobi and blinked.
"Getting undressed… We are going to take a shower." Tobi blushed and looked away ignoring the flutter of his heart and the stirring of his groin. Itachi touched his shoulder lightly.
"You're going to have to get undressed too, Tobi." He nodded his eyes trained on the floor as he stripped out of the suffocating gray turtleneck they'd stuck him in.
Itachi took in a sharp breath upon seeing his friend's side and back. His side was a hideous purple-blue color, even blackened in some places. His back had festering wounds, friction burns, bruises, and gashes.
Tobi unbuttoned his skinny jeans and slipped the zipper down wincing as he wiggled out of them. Some of his pubic hair had caught on the zipper and was ripped out bringing stinging tears to his eyes. His ass was covered in angry red marks, scratches, and whelps. Itachi swallowed.
'No wonder it hurt to sit so bad…' His eyes traveled down the back of his friend's legs noting that they were scraped up and cut badly. Tobi picked up one foot pulling the sock off to reveal that they'd been burned with cigarettes. He pulled the other off and let Itachi turn him around.
He'd accidently glanced in the mirror and all he saw was how mangled and hideous he looked. His face had a large purpling bruise. His neck had laceration markings from strangulation and teeth marks from where he was bitten. There were also visible hand prints from being disobedient and large hickeys. His shoulders had bruised hand outlines and carvings from a knife. His arms were bruised in odd places and his hands were a little banged up, but not near as bad as his chest. His chest was bitten all over, bruised, carved, cut, and burned. His hips had various bruises in the shape of hands. His thighs had deep gashes and his knees were skinned. His shins were bruised, but the body part that fared the worst was his penis.
He was tied down to a chair as a man came up to him a sinister smile on his face, his long hair brushing over the teen's thighs as he bent down and viciously bit his captive's penis from base to tip. He pulled back blood dribbling from his lips and coating the white of his smile.
"I think I'll let you go after tonight. I've had my fun, but first I'll let them have their fun." He said with a smirk. As he retreated more men flowed into the room all giving the teenager hungry looks. It was his last night, but it was also the worst night. It was the night he acquired all of his injuries. It was the night that traumatized him…
Tobi shuddered tears falling down his face again as he forced the memories to go away. Itachi stopped breathing when his eyes fell on the appendage. The bites weren't infected, but they were vicious and serrated. Itachi took a deep breath calming himself the best he could. He crouched down and pulled open a draw retrieving the first aid kit. It appears they'd be needing it after they showered. He set it on the other side of the counter before walking over to the shower turning the knobs and flicking it on. The water warmed up accordingly. He smiled and tweaked a third knob to turn on the other shower heads. It wasn't the newest system, but it was perfect in Itachi's opinion. Itachi held his hand out to Tobi.
"C'mon Tobi. Let's get cleaned up." Tobi looked up his eyes meeting Itachi's. The younger swallowed and held his gaze for a moment before taking his hand. He followed Itachi carefully wincing as the hot water hit his wounds. Itachi's eyes softened seeing his best friend in so much pain. The onyx orbs reflected pain and regret, but a glimmer of something sweeter peaked out from the gem-like depths.
"I'm sorry…" He whispered softly. He could only imagine the pain it must be causing him. Water and tears alike collected on Tobi's face. Who knew that the usually soothing substance could be so painful? Itachi pressed a kiss to his forehead before he turned to collect the bottle of shampoo from the shelf behind the duo.
Itachi turned carefully only to see that Tobi had crumpled to the ground and the red staining the water swirling down the drain. Soft whimpers mingled with the pattering of the spray onto the tile. He swallowed and knelt down behind the shaking figure. He pressed a kiss to a particularly angry looking hand mark successfully causing a squeak to resonate off of the black tile and white grout. He gently slipped his arms around Tobi's torso and pulled him back into his chest situating his legs around his best friend. Tobi relaxed into him letting his eyes slid shut as nimble and capable fingers began a relaxing attack on his scalp. He slipped into a gentle slumber despite the pain of his reopened and stinging wounds. Itachi had long since rinsed his hair of the shampoo, but he just really couldn't find it in himself to wake the younger up. He'd been in so much pain as of late and sleep was probably one of the only escapes he had. Soon enough though Tobi stirred.
"'Tachi-san?" He murmured panic clear in his shaking voice.
"Why does it hurt? Where are you? Why is it so wet?" He begged. Itachi swallowed.
"Shh. It's okay Tobi. You fell asleep when I was shampooing your hair. It's alright." He eased rubbing his shoulders soothingly. There were no cuts there just slight bruising, but it wouldn't hurt the younger teen.
Tobi visibly relaxed into the touch with a soft heave of a sigh. He was afraid at first, yes, but he knew in his heart that with Itachi around nothing bad would become of him. And so he let the other man attend to him…