I know.

I have no real excuse for why I've been barely posting anything. I guess my motivation is just...gone.

But it's slowly coming back c:

This is the last chapter, guys. ;-; holy crap.

Thirty-eight chapters.


I've gotten so many reviews ; A ;

I just wanted to give a HUGE thank you to everyone who's read this fic, and I really hope you guys will keep an eye out for the sequel, 'In Sickness and In Health,' whenever I decide to post it. I'm going to wait until I've planned out at least 10 chapters, plus I'm hoping to finish up 'Motivation' soon, so I'm not quite sure when that will be posted. ;-;

You can check out 'Don't You Dare Forget the Sun' if you're interested in reading a ninjaverse Uchihacest fic :D And I have a (shota ;-;) ItaSasu oneshot I should be posting soon. It's almost 7,000 words so far...of pure smut.

Goddamnit, Cody.

Again, thank you so much to everyone who's stuck with this fic to the end! It was my first real fic, and I can admit that I've definitely grown as an author during the course of writing this. I'm still working on revising old chapters, so that will take priority over the sequel, but yeah :3

Please leave a review telling me what you've thought of this fic! Even if you've never reviewed before, it would mean a lot to me to hear what people have thought of this. c: Thanks so much to all my loyal reviewers. ;-;

Sorry for the ungodly length of this author's note. *twitches*

Enjoy the last chapter! (This is technically an epilogue, but yeah. cx)

Stacks upon stacks of packed moving boxes littered both brothers' mostly-empty bedrooms. Movers were supposed to arrive at any moment, and Sasuke and Itachi were currently performing a final walk-through to make sure they'd packed all of their miscellaneous belongings.

Itachi stood in his own bedroom, brushing off his dusty pant-legs as he slowly stood and surveyed his room. He could hardly wrap his mind around the fact that they were leaving this place, but he couldn't squash the excitement that had kept him awake night after night for the past few weeks. But, along with his excitement for beginning this new chapter of their life, Itachi began reflecting on the past as well.

So many memories...

Some were unpleasant, some were horrible, some were utterly disgusting—yet some Itachi treasured more than he could truly describe.

There were times when Sasuke used to crawl into Itachi's bed at night when he was scared; there were times when Fugaku trapped Itachi within the these four white walls and did unspeakable things; and there were times when Sasuke and Itachi shared intimacy like the lovers they'd become.

Overall, Itachi was going to miss this room filled to bursting with memories.

"Are you done in here, Itachi-nii?"

Itachi was broken out of his reverie and gave a short nod, blinking as his mind tried to catch up to its surroundings. He turned his sights to Sasuke as the younger pattered closer and wound his arms around Itachi's midsection, his own eyes darting wildly around the room.

"It's going to be strange," Sasuke said, noticing the small echo that bounced behind his words, "leaving this place behind."

"I know," Itachi murmured quietly. He brought a hand up to run his fingers through Sasuke's untamable hair; it never grew any more submissive no matter how old he got. Itachi's lips curved into a small smile at the thought. His little brother was vastly different, of course, but there was no erasing that child he'd once been—and still was.

"Are you going to miss your own room?" Itachi asked. Sasuke snorted and shook his head.

"I barely even spent time there," he said, rolling his eyes. "I was always in here, and the time I did spend in there was me pouting about something."

A smirk twitched on Itachi's lips; he had to agree with that. "That is true."

As he nodded, Sasuke unwound his arms from Itachi's waist and took a couple of steps back. He crossed his arms over his chest and tilted his head, eyeing his big brother with a smirk that was threatening to break into a grin at any second.

"So how's it feel being an adult?" he asked with brimming excitement. "You're not a teenager anymore. Do you feel more mature and responsible?"

"I feel exactly the same," Itachi said, not bothering to hide his amusement.

"I'm surprised you didn't go out and get drunk with your friends," Sasuke continued, his dark eyes twinkling with mischief. Drinking seemed like fun to Sasuke—it was something he wanted to try sometime soon—but all Itachi did on his birthday was stay home, as boring as that was. Sasuke had quite a plan in store for his own twentieth birthday...

"I think our celebration at home was nice."

Sasuke shook his head and rolled his eyes. He and Itachi would always be opposites.

"Stop being so boring," Sasuke muttered, though anyone could easily tell he didn't mean it. A low chuckle fell past Itachi's lips and he reached over and ruffled Sasuke's hair, though Sasuke didn't have it in him to complain.

"Are you two almost done?" Mikoto stepped into Itachi's bedroom just as she was pinning her hair up. The sight of the barren room made her newly-dried tears start up for the thousandth time that morning, and she sniffled violently as her hands dropped to her sides.

"She's crying again," Sasuke whispered with a tick of his eyebrow. It was loud enough for Mikoto to hear, and she crossed her arms over her chest with an indignant sniffle.

"My two babies are moving out!" she choked, her lower lip trembling uncontrollably and her voice cracking in the most pitiful way. "This isn't going to be easy for me!"

"We're only fifteen minutes away," Itachi said, stepping closer to their mother and smiling as reassuringly as he possibly could. Really, the last thing they needed was a hysterical Mikoto, but it seemed like they may have already been too late. "We'll come by on weekends to see you and stay for dinner as well."

Mikoto sighed, but nodded as she wiped at her watery eyes.

"Plus you can have Tsunade over as much as you want," Sasuke chimed in as he stepped beside Itachi, "and you guys can be completely alone. Won't that be nice?"

Mikoto's eyebrow twitched.

"At least you're more subtle now," Itachi murmured, though he lightly clapped Sasuke on the back of the head for good measure. Sasuke grinned to himself then practically tackled Itachi, wrapping his arms around him, and pulled him down so he could whisper in his ear.

"And I have you all to myself."

"For the love of God," Mikoto muttered, covering her ears. Sasuke's grin grew even wider. "Maybe you two moving out won't be so bad after all," she said, her lips threatening to betray her with smile. But then her face fell again, along with her hands, and new tears built in her deep grey eyes.

"No," she said, sniffling again, "it definitely will."

"You're like a walking cloud of tears and depression," Sasuke murmured as he stepped away from Itachi, though his comment earned him their mother's version of the Uchiha death glare. It was excessively watery, so any chance of it being the least bit terrifying was completely done away with and she quickly gave up, her face dropping to a low, forlorn pout once more.

"Be nice, Sasuke," Itachi sighed. "She's going to miss us, just like we're going to miss her."

Sasuke shrugged one shoulder, his lip slightly stuck out.

"I'm just being honest."

Then there was a heavy knock on the front door, and after wiping her eyes again and hopelessly smearing her eyeliner even worse than it already was, Mikoto headed out of the room and towards the stairs.

"You're so mean," Itachi chuckled, grasping the side of Sasuke's face with his hand. He tried to give Sasuke a stern expression like he knew he should, but found he simply couldn't; instead, he brushed some of Sasuke's hair aside and pecked him on the forehead, then his pouty lips before pulling just a breath away. "Are you done in your room?"

A light pink dusted Sasuke's cheeks and he nodded, almost seeming shy as his lips quirked into a half-smile. Itachi found himself wondering how Sasuke could act so adorable and shy sometimes yet turn into a completely different person when they were intimate. But really, both of them changed when they were, though it had yet to draw any worse outcome than a couple of possessive hickeys on Sasuke's neck—which their mother had been less than happy about—and learning they had an extensive list of previously undiscovered kinks.

"So," Sasuke said, willing his blush away and taking a step back; he couldn't think straight when Itachi looked at him that way. "I guess it's time to start moving boxes."

Their apartment was a medium-sized, two bedroom with modern appliances and carpeted floors. Itachi would be able to afford it on his salary with a little bit of help from Mikoto, and it was more than good enough for two people to live more than comfortably. The neighborhood itself was nice as well, and a short walk from Sasuke's school.

They really only needed one bedroom, but both Itachi and Mikoto had agreed that it would look a bit odd for two brothers of their ages to share a one bedroom apartment—though they may have been able to pass it off as them just being especially close if they really tried—and they didn't want to chance it. Though it was more yen per month, they figured the extra step was worth it if it kept their secret safe.

Sasuke's bed was moved into the smaller room, along with his things, though he complained when he realized that meant he had to shift his boxes into Itachi's room once the movers left. Once the movers were gone, however, Itachi and Sasuke lay in a heap on Itachi's sheetless mattress, troublesome boxes completely forgotten; they were both rather tired from all the moving they'd done and figured a breather was in order before they began unpacking.

"I like it here," Sasuke said, shifting so Itachi's face was in between his arms. He smiled softly down at his big brother, who quickly returned the small smile.

"I'm glad. I was hoping you'd like it."

"It's perfect."

Sasuke closed the small distance between them and lightly pressed his lips against Itachi's, though he kept the kiss chaste and quickly pulled away just to cuddle up closer on his big brother's warm chest. Itachi was surprised by this; their kisses almost always progressed to something further nowadays.

But it really was nice to keep something innocent for once.

"I love you, Itachi-nii," Sasuke said, peering up. His cheeks were a little bit pink, and he quickly hid his head again, though he scowled at his own actions once his face was out of Itachi's view. He was acting like a little kid—and he absolutely despised himself for that—but just thinking about his and Itachi's future together left him feeling more happy and secure than he'd felt in a long, long time.

Something akin to hope, as well as pure adoration settled in Itachi's normally-heavy chest, and he allowed himself to entertain thoughts that maybe, just maybe, everything was going to be alright. They were in a new environment, one that hadn't been tainted by any horrible memories—a place where they could make new, memories, happy memories. Maybe they were going to pull through this. Maybe they were going to recover.

After all, they had each other.

Itachi smiled, resting his head back against the flat mattress and staring at the ceiling of their new home.

"I love you too," he said. "More than anything."

And there you have it. ;-;

*curls into fetal position, rocking back-and-forth while murmuring comforting words to myself*



Thank you so much for reading!

By the way, I'm keeping this listed as 'incomplete' for fear of it being weeded out and deleted. I would be so fucking upset if this got deleted, holy poop.

Bye, guys. Less than three.