Author's Note: So. God. Damn. Depressed. After writing this, I can't even remember what happiness felt like. I can't believe I wrote this. It hurts so bad. Listen to Hate Me by Blue October while your read this...

Enjoy? In a suicidal way? ;A;


"I have to block out thoughts of you so I don't lose my head

They crawl in like a cockroach leaving babies in my bed

Dropping little reels of tape to remind me that I'm alone

Playing movies in my head that make a porno feel like home

There's a burning in my pride, a nervous bleeding in my brain

An ounce of peace is all I want from you. Will you never call again?

And will you never say that you love me just to put it in my face?

And will you never try to reach me?

It is I that wanted space."

"Hate Me", Blue October

Itachi took slow steps toward Sasuke. He limped because the pain in his side coursed through his veins, and because his heart stuttered, barely beating. His chin was covered in blood from vomiting it up, and the scratches all over his tattered body ached as he stretched them when he walked. His Akatsuki robe was gone, lost somewhere he didn't know during the battle. But it didn't really matter where it was. He was dying. This was it. The end.

Susano'o shredded its skin, then its skeleton, and disappeared. Itachi fell forward, and his face smacked into the wall behind his little brother. His hand was still raised, his bloody fingers begging to find purchase on Sasuke's face once more. Just one more time. One more time. But no.

He hit the ground and blacked out, unconscious. He couldn't find the strength to open his eyes, and that hurt more than the cuts and bruises did. He wouldn't ever see anything again. Even though his terrible vision made everything a muddy blur, at least there was light. At least there was the vain hope he would see properly again some day. But here, on the ground at Sasuke's feet, reality ripped that away. And then, he wasn't at Sasuke's feet anymore, but was lying beside him. Sasuke had fallen.

A trembling fear took Itachi up in its chilly arms and had its way with him. He was scared. Like a little boy, like how he was before he had a decent picture of what a shinobi was he was scared. He was afraid. He wanted his mom, and his dad, and his little brother. He wanted all of them to hold his hands, his face, and hug him. He wanted his mom to kiss him on the cheek as she sent him off to the Academy. He wanted Sasuke to run up to him and ask him to teach him something. He wanted his father to pat him on the head and tell him what a good job he did.

The tears burned the cuts on his face and mixed with the blood. The feeling—so surreal and sharp like he was a virgin to pain (but that was ridiculous, how could Itachi be innocent to such a thing as pain?)—woke up memories he hadn't thought about in years. He remembered the first time he really tried to throw a shuriken; he'd cut his finger open. And then his first time jumping through trees; that was the first time he broke a bone, his fibula. All sorts of memories started pouring in. All the mistakes he made as a ninja, as a student, as a brother, a son. Was there a redo button? Had Itachi missed it somewhere along the way?

That time he could have trained with Sasuke, but didn't and instead poked him in the head…that time his mother asked him to watch Sasuke, and his little brother had gone and scraped his arm bloody…that time…when…and… And the lies. All the lies he fed everyone. He lied to his father, to his mother, to Sasuke, to the Hokage, to the Elders, to everyone. He lied to himself the most, just so he could live to the next day he faced.

He was weeping. He was crying. He wanted peace, that's all he ever wanted. All this little boy ever wanted. From the beginning, he wanted a happy life with Sasuke and his family. He wanted to run around the Compound with them, have picnics with them, have birthdays with them, graduate with them, marry for them, father for them, grow old with them…to grow old. Itachi would never know a full life. And, lying there bloody and broken next to the little brother he traumatized for the sake of unrealized peace, he knew peace and age would never come. But he pretended, as he had from the very beginning.

He focused on a picture of him and his family, smiling and posing on a sunny afternoon. Sasuke had just graduated from the Academy, and everyone was so proud. Itachi would have smiled if the feeling had been in him. But reality came back, sharp and cruel as ever, and stole away the image form his mind. He couldn't remember Sasuke's beaming face anymore. It faded to dust, and their parents were consumed with flames. All of this pain drenched Itachi with its agony.

He felt himself, rather than heard, the choking sobs that rattled his body. He cried out for a life that would never be his, a love he would never know (Sasuke's, his mother's, his father's, Shisui's, Sasuke's…)—no, he would never know their love ever again. He cried out for this, for the things he always wanted, ever since he was told that he had to kill his family. Ever since it was decided he would kill everything that mattered to him, he cried for it to come back.

The closest he would ever get to feeling that love was holding Sasuke's hand, wet and slippery with blood. So he did. He put all of his remaining strength in to reaching for that lifeline that would untether him from this harsh reality he wanted nothing more to do with. If he held Sasuke's hand, like he hadn't done in well over a decade (too long, too long), Itachi knew he could leave this world and find another one that wouldn't hurt him so badly.

He needed life, needed the warmth of it against his skin. He was so cold and near death it frightened him to the bone. He craved life then. He craved a heartbeat stronger than the one that faltered in his chest. He sobbed, his shoulders shook with shivers and pains and his begging for more time. He couldn't do anything else but tighten his grip on Sasuke, tighter and tighter, as death soaked him up.

He sobbed even louder, as loud as his failing body would allow him. He felt the remnants of some primal energy swell in him, and he wanted to scream for the sands of time to reverse and sweep him away from the bloody, battle-ravished ground he was dying on. He wanted everything to change, everything about everything in the world. He wanted nothing to be like it was so he could have another chance at life. He wanted another chance. Just…a chance, for anything. Even just for Sasuke to live a life worth living...not the one Itachi gave him, not the one filled with fear, revenge, and isolation. He realized that's what he regretted most of all.

Slowly, Itachi faded away. It was terrifying at first, knowing that he was going to die. He could feel his legs go numb, his stomach, his arms, but he wouldn't lose his hand. No, not with Sasuke so close to him, touching him like he hadn't since he was a little boy. They hadn't been this close since Itachi destroyed everything they both held so, so dear. He cried harder, his face contorted in pain, and he felt his hand disappear. There was an eraser, one that took away life, opportunity, and hope. After Itachi realized what was happening to him, that he really was going away (that he really wasn't ever coming back), his terror turned in to a child-like fear.

Death was so final and filled with one absolute Itachi wanted to run away from it, just like he had run away from the village. Life—life was filled with so many choices, so many ways to go. Why hadn't Itachi picked the right path? How had he picked the wrong one? He had chosen the road that led him here, to this spot on the world that took his heart and shattered it in to a thousand tiny pieces. There was no time to think of anything else. There was no time to wish for life. There was no time to feel Sasuke's hand again.