rhoddlet: (iruka - surprise)
[personal profile] rhoddlet
What can I say? It's hard writing Narutofic when long-haired military hippies and dudes in bicornes take turns eating your soul for the better part of a year and change.



Itachi had not been entirely absent from Sasuke's life: it did not come out until years later, but it seemed that in the years after the massacre, he had returned to the Village of the Leaf a number of times for information-gathering. Never openly, of course, and never willingly, either, but he had nevertheless come to the village, sometimes disguised as a peddler.

Other times, he had simply flattened his chakra and creeping in along with a crowd. It was an old ninja trick for turning invisible, elementary in principle, though somewhat more difficult in practice. Thanks to the Sharingan and the control that it gave him over his chakra, as well as a certain quirks of personality, Itachi had always been a master of it. He was even better after having acquired the Mangekyou variant -- he had seen Sasuke from very close range indeed.

"Do you remember the way that you would lay out breakfast in the mornings?"

They were lying in the grass on a hill above another village. Both of them were on their stomachs; it was the first time that Orochimaru had designated the same task for them, and Sasuke had decided that he was going to speak to Itachi as little as possible. Itachi had studied Sasuke's demeanor during the journey out, and he knew that it would be hard for Sasuke to resist responding to this.

At times, after all, Sasuke still blamed him for the fact that he had become an orphan, that he was so lonely. He had refused to speak a single word to Itachi during this.

"Do you remember that period when you suspected that you were going mad because it was never the way that you left it? You would leave a breakfast bar, and you would find a hard-boiled egg there in the morning. You would set out cold cereal, and you would find a packet of oatmeal. If I remember correctly, you were ten that year."

Sasuke looked over, briefly, then returned to studying the village.

"That was me, of course. I used to visit you and look in on my little brother to see if he was well."

They were lying on their bellies in the grass. There was a little commotion down in the village, and Sasuke trained his binoculars on the cloud of dust.

"Oh, little brother," Itachi said. He had crept a little closer to Sasuke now. "I saw so much. I watched you study at night; I watched you put flowers in the vase that you kept for our parents."

Sasuke still said nothing; he did not take the binoculars from his eyes, and Itachi could see that a figure -- it seemed like a girl -- had come out of one of the houses and was putting her arms around the new arrival.

Finally, Itachi began to pick himself off the ground. "And oh, little brother," he said, casually. "I was also watching the night that Naruto went back with you."

That got a reaction. Sasuke's head whipped around. He stared, mouth open, while Itachi finished picking himself up off the grass and brushed the bits from chest. The binoculars had fallen out of Sasuke's hand, and now, he was trying hard to master his expression, but failing, and Itachi knew that his smile was growing more and more broad.

"Come on, Sasuke. It's time for work." Itachi gestured to the binoculars, and his smile now went cheek to cheek, in much the way of a snake's.

"And put those away. We're going to kill them all anyways."
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rhoddlet

December 2010

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