A/N: Well, this is my first multi-chapter fic! The Geisha and The Samurai is set in the early 1600's in Japan when the Edo Period was introduced. Yes, I have done my homework on the facts and it's vaguely explained in this chapter.
For the beginning half of this chapter, Sasuke and Naruto are four and Itachi is nine. After that, just add fourteen to their ages (".)
I hope you enjoy :)
Disclaimer: I don't own!
The air was thick and suffocating. It was filled with the smell of burning houses, trees and flesh. Even though it was past midnight, the area seemed to light up in a burning orange and red from the dancing inferno.
"Naruto-kun run faster!"
The fire was hot on their heels. There was only so much ground a four year olds legs could cover, even if he was running at his fastest.
"I can't see where I'm going!"
A hand shot out from the thick smog and grabbed the little boy's hand, pulling him in the right direction.
It felt as if they had been running forever. Their lungs burned and legs ached.
More screams echoed somewhere far in the distance and slowly they began to fade until all that could be heard was the chirping of crickets in the forest they had run to and their harsh pants.
Uchiha Mikoto stared down at the three small boys and tried to smile. Two were her sons and the other was her best friend's son.
She slowly knelt down and embraced the children, not caring if they were still choking for air.
"Now listen here, these bandits won't stop until everyone is dead. Do not come near the compound; if you hear any voices nearby, be silent. Do not let them know you're here. Just please… stay here and be safe."
The oldest of the three boys froze in his mother's arms, realizing what she was saying.
The youngest Uchiha squirmed out of his mother's embrace and stared at her with wide eyes. "Kaa-san? Are you crying? We will be safe don't worry! You're with us!"
The blonde boy nodded and stared up at Mikoto who was still holding him.
"… Sasuke-kun… I have to go back. I can't leave your father or the clan. We are a family of samurai after all. We must fight…"
Sasuke's eyes widened and he launched forward, gripping onto his mother's shoulders. "NO! NO! You can't go back! You-"
"I have to Sasuke-kun." She gently tugged her son off herself and let the other two boys go. Slowly, she placed a kiss on each one of their foreheads and got up. "Itachi-kun, please keep these two here. I trust you, okay?" Mikoto's hands went to her waist to untie her katana.
Itachi hesitantly stared at the object. "Kaa-san I can't..."
Mikoto smiled and placed the katana in his hands. "You can. I trained you myself. Protect them."
Itachi bit his lip and gripped the sheathed object tightly before staring back up at his mother.
"You are a brave boy Itachi-kun. Make me proud." Mikoto then looked at all three boys and smiled," I love you all. Please be safe."
With a last glance, she stood up and began walking away.
Sasuke made a move to jump for his mother but Itachi held him in place. "KAA-SAN!" screamed the small dark haired boy and he thrashed around in his brothers grip.
"Sasuke shh! You heard what Kaa-san said!"
The small spiky haired boy reluctantly stopped screaming and watched as his mother's figure blurred into the smog.
Itachi let go off his brother and looked over at Naruto who was quiet.
"How will Mikoto-san protect herself if she gave you her katana? And where is my Kaa-san and Tou-san?"
Itachi sulked and looked the other way.
Suddenly screams were heard not too far away and the oldest boy pulled the other two boys closer, attempting to cover their ears. Sasuke whimpered and hugged Naruto closer.
"…" Itachi shut his eyes and prayed that it would end soon and as it did, it sounded as if whoever was there was approaching them.
"Aniki-"Sasuke was cut short as Itachi covered his brother's mouth with his palm.
"Did you hear something?" came an unfamiliar voice.
Itachi, Sasuke and Naruto all froze as the voices got closer. Itachi let go of the four year olds and gripped the katana instead.
The footfalls sounded near and Itachi waited for that moment. He crept up behind a large tree and peered around it, only to see a single man walking towards them. He had dark hair that fell down to his waist and eyes that appeared to be red. He clutched a bloody katana and Itachi froze, realizing that was most probably his mother's blood.
A shriek was heard from behind him and the older boy whipped around only to see Naruto and Sasuke squirming in the grasp of some other man. He had short hair and one side of his face looked as if it had been crushed at a point in his life. A lone red eye stared Itachi down.
"With the new rules of the Daimyo, all samurai were either to turn in their blades or work for the Daimyo himself. We were just helping him in the former, except we did so by killing the most prestigious samurai clan," said the man as Sasuke attempted to bite him.
The crushed face man scowled at Sasuke and tossed him again a tree, smiling as the small dark haired boy passed out.
"We won't kill you," Itachi turned around to see the other man who was walking towards them stop and stare at Sasuke's unmoving body. "It would be a waste of energy to kill children."
Itachi snarled and gripped his mother's katana tightly.
"Calm down boy. Save your anger for another day." Crushed Face put Naruto down and gave him a look that made the poor blonde whimper and not move. He then walked towards Itachi and smiled. "Times are about to change. There will be more rebels and bandits in years to come. Maybe by then you'll be a fair fight," he lingered next to Itachi's ear and continued, "Madara and Tobi, don't forget them. We look forward to seeing you in the future."
Itachi's eyes widened as he felt a hand connect with a point in his neck and suddenly, everything went black.
A lot had changed in fourteen years.
The morning after the massacre of the Uchiha clan, the three boys had woken up and hobbled back to the rubble and ash of the place they once grew up in. The ground was littered in bodies of the most powerful samurai and one could only imagine the power of their attackers.
It was that night that Itachi swore to find "Madara and Tobi" in order to avenge his clan.
He had given Sasuke their father's katana which lay next to his body and attempted his give the small blonde boy his own father's sword, but he had flat out refused. So Itachi carried Minato's weapon just in case.
Itachi had trained his little brother every day using his mother's methods. He knew it was terrible teaching a child barely the age of four to wield a weapon, but Sasuke had witnessed death and there was a strange fire burning in his eyes when Itachi asked him if he wanted to learn.
It was when Itachi was fifteen that Madara had started an uprising of sorts in order to overthrow the Daimyo. He had somehow gathered enough followers and rebels all over the land in order to do this.
It was also the time that Itachi and Sasuke started to kill any rebels that crossed their paths.
The bandits would do the usual - burn down homes, kill innocents and steal all items of worth.
And Sasuke and Itachi would also do the usual – follow their tracks, question them about Madara and then eliminate them.
It was a sad and lonely life. The three would wake early, seek out any bandits and then slay them. It was an endless cycle that carried on the same for the next eight years.
A twenty-three year old man with long raven hair sighed as he wiped his mothers' katana against the soil before slipping it back into its case.
It was just another assassination, another day and another empty lead.
"Ne, Itachi-san, hurry up! That's the longest you've ever taken to kill."
Itachi stared at the blonde man behind him and frowned.
"See! Even the sun has begun to set!" exclaimed Naruto as he waved his hands frantically at the blood red sky.
Itachi rolled his eyes and tied his hair back up as he pushed past the impatient blonde. "Killing bandits day after day gets quite boring you know."
"Yeah," Sasuke appeared from around a tree swinging a small sack of coins in his hands. "But it's worth it."
"Yeah well hurry up, our horses are gonna run off if you take even longer."
"Well if you helped us, we could do this in half the time."
Naruto huffed as he began walking away. "You know I don't want to wield a katana"
"Don't want to or can't?"
The blonde ignored Sasuke and smiled when he saw the three chocolate brown horses still tied up in the clearing he left them in. He immediately quickened his pace until he came face to face with his own horse and gently rubbed the side of its face. "I prefer taking care of these three than killing thanks. Anyway, any leads on Madara?"
Itachi shook his head. "Nothing new. Just the same - that he was here some while ago and that he set up a few more camps."
Sasuke sighed as he approached his horse and hoisted himself up. "Which we have halved since we entered this area"
Naruto nodded, untied the horses and hopped up onto his own. "By the way, there's a small building that I saw not too far from here. It's getting dark so it would be a good idea to find a place to rest."
Itachi hummed in agreement before getting on his horse. "Lead the way"
"See! There's the building I told you about!"
Sasuke, Naruto and Itachi all pulled on their horse reins and stopped a little in front of a plain, large wooden building.
"You think there's anyone inside?" asked Sasuke as he jumped off his horse and dusted his white pants.
The other two followed suit and Naruto shrugged. "Well there wouldn't just be a building this size in the middle of nowhere."
The blonde ran forward and the smell of incense hit his nose. It was different from the metallic stench Sasuke and Itachi always had on them and he welcomed this new smell.
"Itachi-san… Sasuke-san… Can you smell that?"
Both the samurai had frozen in their tracks and closed their eyes. It had been a long time since they had smelled something so sweet… so foreign… so pure.
Itachi blinked slowly and followed the smell until he found himself staring at a plain shoji door on the side of the building. He looked over his shoulder to see Sasuke and Naruto standing there gazing at the door with interest. Slipping off his shoes, he slowly slid the door open and mentally gasped at the sight in front of him.
It reminded him of home.
It was an entrance room that led onto many others. It was a light red colour with a single low wooden table in the middle. On the table was the incense they smelled which was burning away. Around the table were four cream cushions and there were petals scattered on them. In each of the four corners there was a small cream vase which held cuttings of red Japanese peonies. There were three shoji doors which probably lead elsewhere but each door had a design of a tree in bloom with a few butterflies around its flowers.
The older Uchiha peered around the room hesitantly and almost jumped when Naruto screamed from behind him.
Sasuke quickly shot the blonde a glare and nudged him for his outburst.
Suddenly, footfalls and hushed whispers could be heard and the shoji door on the right slid open. A blonde, rather busty woman with hazel brown eyes appeared in an emerald green kimono and bowed deeply.
"Welcome! We are terribly sorry for the delay and lack of costume but we were not expecting any guests!"
Naruto cocked his head to the side. "What delay?"
The blonde woman straightened herself and smiled, looking at each of the men in the room. Her eyes landed on the katana's strapped at the Uchiha's waists. "Aah, gomenasai Samurai-sama. This is a house of geisha and I am the owner and sensei, Tsunade."
Naruto's face lit up at the word geisha and he clapped his hands together. He then turned to Itachi who was warily eying Tsunade. "Can we stay here? Please? We haven't relaxed in like… Well, we have never relaxed."
Itachi looked over to Sasuke whose eyes seemed to be gleaming as he kept peering through the newly opened shoji door.
Tsunade gave Itachi one of her smiles. "Tonight will be on the house seeing as none of my girls were ready."
Naruto's eyes widened and Itachi sighed. "Fine, but I will stay outside to… watch the horses."
Sasuke gave his brother a weird look and shrugged. "Suit yourself Aniki." He then looked at Tsunade and gave her a smirk. "Your girls offer entertainment and other… activities right?"
Tsunade nodded. "If you desire that Samurai-sama, then we shall gladly oblige"
Sasuke grinned as he heard more footfalls down the passage.
Itachi frowned and excused himself, exiting the geisha house and entering the dark forest. As he set his foot on the damp grass, Tsunade walked up behind him.
"If you change your mind, you can always come in"
Itachi turned around to face her and nodded. "Arigatou, but that won't be necessary." Turning around once again, Itachi set off towards the horses.
The long haired Uchiha shivered from the cold as he ran a hand alongside the brown stallions face.
There was a slight glow from the geisha house and the warmth from within called him. However, he would not budge. His goal was to seek and destroy the monsters that had killed his family, not indulge in such… pleasures. Then again Naruto was right; they had never had a break.
It was always running from one village to the next, looking for leads, camping in the cold forests, finding prey and finally slaying them. Then that would lead them on a false trail and the cycle would start again.
Itachi felt terribly lonely. He wished there was more to this…that he could just give up and carry out a normal life. But if he did that, then the Daimyo would be overrun and the country would fall.
Everybody's fate was in their hands. Pleasure would be out of the question.
The older Uchiha's thoughts were brought to a halt when a strange yet familiar sound was heard from nearby.
Itachi lifted his head and listened closely. He closed his eyes and tried to block out the laughter and other noises he heard from the geisha house.
It was a shamisen!
Itachi's eyes widened and he quickly got up. When last had he heard a shamisen being played? Let alone someone play as well as this mystery musician?
His legs were about to lead him off but he looked over his shoulders at the three horses who were sitting, tied to a tree. They seemed to be giving him a weird look.
"Stay" was all he said before he began to follow the rhythm.
His legs took him around the geisha house, near the back where it appeared to be the girls' quarters. Pressing his back up against a tree, he listened. All the activities from the house could no longer be heard and Itachi sighed in satisfaction.
It reminded him of before. Itachi's mother used to play the shamisen but never like this.
This… was calming… It was almost unreal.
How could someone produce such an amazing piece of music?
Curiosity piqued, Itachi glanced over his shoulder to see the magical person behind the shamisen.
And magical person she was.
From the slight glow of the geisha house, Itachi could see a girl, no a woman, with long light pink hair that was curled against her side. She wore a plain white kimono with a red obi tied in the front. This woman leaned against a rock under a tree with her shamisen in her arms.
Itachi watched silently as the mythical creatures' left hand danced along the neck of the three-stringed instrument while her right strummed with the plectrum.
Her eyes were shut closed in concentration and Itachi wondered what jewels those eyelids enclosed.
Itachi faced forward again and slumped against the tree.
Her playing was exquisite, and reminded him of a lullaby. It was calling him home.
The older Uchiha's eyes felt heavy and he let the shamisen and its player take over. Within minutes, his body grew relaxed and he was asleep.
And the last thing he remembered was pink hair, green eyes and a warm feeling covering his shivering form.
A/N: Next update will probably be next week, around Wednesday :)
Until next time!