Moment of Peace

Part 1

It was early morning and I had just finished gathering together the necessary files when there was a solid knock upon my bedroom room. Securing the paperwork, I answered the door, heaving the slab of steel open to be greeted by Itachi who had been patiently waiting on the other side. The man was casually dressed for our expedition, donned in a black dress shirt and black slacks with his inky locks freed from their usual captivity of a hair tie. I nodded toward the Uchiha as I closed my door, securing my room from the local sleuth before quietly following my colleague as we departed from the base.

Our destination was the sleepy village which sat nestled at the foot of the steep hills which out hideout was located, an hour's time walk. As we traveled no words were exchanged between us though it hardly bothered me. After years of neglect and solitude, I much more preferred the presence of silence rather than others and Itachi wasn't well known for his chatter anyway.

By the time we arrived within the village limits, the local population was just beginning to stir and those which were walking the streets wisely bowed their sight as they passed us by. Due our obvious vicinity adjacent to the village, the populace was well aware of Akatsuki and in exchange for their silence and cooperation, we supplied protection and a monthly allowance. I personally believed it was the origins of Kakuzu's permanent scowl.

Itachi and I approached the resident clinic which housed the community's only medic and the Akatsuki's personal doctor, Dr. Ryu. The Uchiha stepped before me, opening the glass door and I merely walked inside without granting the slightest acknowledge towards the generous gesture.

The receptionist, a pudgy woman with curly blonde hair and a foul attitude, was seated behind the front counter of the center, her fat face shoved in a designer magazine and I audibly cleared my throat to claim her attention. She lifted her head, mouth curled in a sneer, posed for insult but upon seeing us, her face noticeably paled.

"O-Oh, you two are seeing Dr. Ryu this fine morning?" She stuttered out clumsily, to which I nodded slowly and she quickly stood, knocking over her chair in the process with her oversized bum. "I'll inform him of y-your arrival right away!"

She hurried off, leaving Itachi and I to await her return. After a few moments, I stole a glance at Itachi, discovering him casually browsing one of the out-dated magazines which had been laid out, appearing rather lax despite the given circumstance. It was no secret the Uchiha disliked the frequent visits but when each and every time the news was worse than the prior occasion, it was difficult to blame him. Only a minute later the human-shaped lard came galloping back into the waiting room, heaving despite the few foot jog.

"Dr. Ryu is ready to see you." She gasped out. Itachi tossed away the magazine and without sparing the exhausted woman a fleeting glance, we crowded past her into the cramped room which functioned as a poor excuse of an office. There, Dr. Ryu greeted us.

"Zetsu-sama, Itachi-sama, it is a pleasure to see you both." The man remarked, grasping our hands in a firm shake.

Dr. Ryu was a middle-aged man with graying hair and bushy facial hair. He had operating with the Akatsuki for decent amount of years, being hired due to his ties with Kakuzu and had been for the most part undyingly loyal to the organization. Probably because he was well aware the consequences if he were to cross us.

I handed him the file I had lugged with and took the only available seat within the tight quarters as Itachi hiked himself onto the tall, medical chair and reclined himself into an indolent position, folding his hands over his chest. Dr. Ryu read through the documentation I had been compiling on Itachi's hindering condition for the last six months. His brow furrowed, obviously displeased with the information presented though he said nothing as he set the files aside, sparing Itachi a kind smile.

"Don't worry, Itachi-sama, just the usual routine testing and you both are free to leave." Dr. Ryu said, to which Itachi merely nodded. I quietly spectated as the Uchiha's failing lungs were evaluated with a simple series of testing.

Due to the recent rash of bad news to worse news, Itachi had one point began neglecting to report for his appointments, merely downing veils upon veils of medicine and had collapsed as a result because the full extent of his illness had gone unknown for such a period it had actually significantly worsening without any knowledge of it. Since then, I had been instructed on keeping close profiling of Itachi's disease and medical records to ensure the prevention of any similar accidents, including escorting the stubborn bastard to his semi-annual meetings with Dr. Ryu.

After a half-an-hour, the routine check-up concluded and Itachi was guided to another room to have his lungs photographed for detection of any farther deterioration while I returned to the waiting room, ignoring the glances the receptionist threw my way from behind her magazine.

An hour later, Itachi emerged from the back and with a single glance, I confirmed the grim news. Without a word, the Uchiha stormed from the building and a moment later Dr. Ryu came stumbling after. He opened his mouth to explain, but I only shook my head before a single word could emerge from his tongue and retrieved the battered file from his hand which now included a new x-ray within. I did not spare the time to observe it however, trusting the news was no better, and I left after Itachi who had already traversed to the edge of town.

I permitted the man his well-deserved space as I fell back, not hasting myself to keep with his pace as he disappeared into the foliage which sprouted from the surrounding hills. A decent time later, I arrived back at the home base which was buzzing with activity now it was clocked at noon and I quietly excused myself to my room, disregarding the doubled-up concerned looks from Kisame and Konan.

Thankfully, no one badgered me for answers as I was sure the pure look of disdain Itachi wore was answer enough.

Later that evening, there was another knock on my door.

I had been working on some paperwork which I assisted Sir Leader with when the knocking came, softly to which I barely heard it over the scratching of my pencil. I quirked an eyebrow at the disturbance, questioning who could possibly be bothering me, especially at such a time since I wasn't the most popular of the members and mostly left to my lonesome. It was rare to interact with anyone or be sought out. I actually dreaded it to be either Kisame or Konan, come to retrieve the latest results of Itachi's saddening situation. Regardless, I paused in my work long enough to answer the door, only to discover Itachi again on the opposite side of it though not appearing as nearly charming as this morning. In fact, his entire appearance was unconventional of the man, appearing as though he just rolled out of bed and directly into the scorching depths of Hell.

The raven lacked a shirt, revealing the ravished state of his torso, evidence of the ferocity of the medication he swallowed down daily and corrosive illness plaguing his respiratory system, and his dark sweatpants sagged on his jutting hips, displaying the sharp incline of his pelvis. His hair was again liberated though was disheveled, completely uncharacteristic of the Uchiha as it was clear if there was one thing he worshipped besides his younger brother, it was his murky locks.

"Hello, Zetsu-san." Itachi murmured, bowing his head politely and I shuffled at the unfamiliar gesture. "Might I come in?"

I stared at him for a long moment, preventing the cease in my brow or sag of my lips at the innocent question. It an uncommon occasion one requested entrance to my room or even presence. I presumed the Uchiha had come to speak with me regarding the events which unfolded today and after another rude moment of staring; I finally nodded slowly and stepped aside. He sauntered inside and I secured the door behind him before returning to my desk.

"May I sit?" He remarked, obviously referencing the only source of seating besides my office chair, the bed. I nodded; eyeing him closely as he settled on the oversized mattress though said nothing more. With a moment passed of the silence, I took the role of breaking it.

"What is it you need, Itachi-san?" I asked, twitching slightly before adding. "If it regarding the concern of your test results then…"

"No." He interrupted softly. "It is not. It is of different matters."

I allowed him to resume but again, there was nothing, as he seemed more interested in the substance residing under his polished nails rather than disclosing his presence. I had to restrain a sigh expressing my frustration with the reserved male.

"Then what is your purpose of acquiring my company?"

"It is…difficult; complicated." He answered after a long moment with a drawn sigh, for once meeting my orbs with his opposing ones and I noticed the lack of the trademark red sheen of the Sharingan residing in them. "I would normally never submit to such…temptations…but the given circumstances…I beg to differ."

"Out with it."

Itachi became silent, just exchanging that same blank stare with me then after several long moments, he sighed again, allowing his darkened lids to fall shut and inferring his true exhaustion. "I have only approximately six months more to live."

As the pregnant silence settled once more, I respected its presence this time around. The news though devastating, did not come as an unprovoked surprise. Afterall, the signs had been displayed everywhere so even the dullest of persons could predict the tragic unfolding of events. The attacks which become for frequent, the fainting spells and increased sleeping hours. Willpower and medication could only to so much. The countdown had finally been established and it was counting the months, weeks, days, hours, minutes and seconds until ruin. Itachi was dying.

"I have been dying my entire life." Itachi resumed, eyes remaining closed. "Only now can I feel the chilled fingers of death groping at me and I desire nothing more to relinquish myself, extinguish myself from this wretched existence. But alas, I cannot. It would be selfish if I were to rob Sasuke of the chance to plunge me to my rightful place within Hell with his own hand,"

The elder Uchiha paused in order to release a hoarse cough and I leant forward in my seat, prepped to assist the man but none was required. He cleared his throat, it audibly rattling with the sickly blood which crept from his damaged lungs and he swallowed it back thickly.

"I have been dying my entire life. For once, I desire the selfishness of experiencing my humanity. I wish to savour the sin of being human before my death."

"You wish to be a man." I uttered gently, shifting in my chair and flinching when it creaked a tad too loud for my liking, disturbing the tension residing in the air. There a moment of hesitation from the other party before a curt nod.

His worn eyes drifted open, meeting mine again and I could spot the fatigue hazing the inky pits. Such tiredness. "All I ask for is for is a moment of your time."

A moment. Just a moment of pure and utter sin. The request of a man which had died long ago and desired aliveness, to fulfill his own greedy last wishes. I could spare a moment of my time. After all, misery loved its company.

I could feeling those dark chasms grappling at my form as I quietly eliminated the distance between us. His anxious hands groped at my hips as I settled against his haggard frame and our untouched lips brushed shyly before slowly mustering the courage to melt together into a firm exchange.

AN: I'm alive…hardly. Just been occupied, college and all and with my major being creative writing, I'm been busy writing my novel instead. But, I missed writing smut so I'm back though obviously rusty. Nothing but genderbend from me now, my love for yaoi if long gone and done and is not coming back if I can help it. Those which have stuck around for hopes of more yaoi, sorry to disappoint you.

Anyways, Ita/Fem!Zet, definitely a step out of my comfort zone since I'm famous for my Zet/Dei but do not despair! I will be writing Zet/Dei still, it just won't be Zet/Dei. It's Dei/Fem!Zet and Zet/Fem!Dei now. I'll be writing other pairings too but it will always either be with Zetsu or Deidara since they're my main.

ANYWAY, the lemon will come. I enjoyed writing this story and will enjoy the lemon even more.

P.S. For future reference, in my stories, Zetsu is non-canon. So no two people in one or Madara side. Zetsu is schizophrenic, plain and simple. Also, in my mind, Itachi and Sasori speak with a British accent so in the future if I write a story with one of them in it, read their dialog like that. It's a kick, trust should re-read this one just for the chuckles.

That's all from me. R&R please and see you again with the next chapter.