Naruto Fan Fiction ❯ Questions ❯ Questions ( One-Shot )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
I have no claim on anything in or affiliated with Naruto, nor anything that appears in this story other than my original plotline.
Summary: As a child, Itachi had asked questions. Questions of life, questions of death…questions that would lead to the clan's massacre. Pre-series to eventual AU ending.
As a child, Itachi had asked questions. Questions of life, questions of death, questions philosophers avoided in fear of persecution. Queries poured from his lips like air and he lived to understand the answers to those questions he had asked for so long. More often than not, people misunderstood his questions, and then they became afraid. But what was there to fear about the questions of a curious child? He was ignored, time and time again. And, in time, those around him forgot `the child who asked too many questions' and in his place was `the prodigal nin who made his clan proud'. He knew by the time his place had been forged into the very depths of their clan that such questions were not supposed to be spoken aloud.
They were not to be spoken, they were not to be answered, they were to be was gone. Itachi understood this, even as he continued to seek answers. He knew that this would lead to problems. He knew that the others would begin to distrust him—but before that happened, Itachi would force open the eyes of his clan and make them aware of their blindness. They were blind in the face of the world, only seeing the things that made them stronger and ignoring things that would be their downfall. They had no idea of what would happen in the future, instead focusing arrogantly on the present and how they resounded with so-called strength during this time.
Itachi was not blind. He knew things of the future—little things that no one would notice until it was too late. The Hyuuga clan, for instance. Itachi knew that this clan would begin to overcome even the Uchiha. He also knew that, if left alone, they would soon reach an era where the name Uchiha would be unknown to even the oldest of generations. He knew that the Uchiha clan would fall, as sure as the sun rises. The clan would be torn to shreds, on the night of a blood red moon, and their dignity—the power they revered—would be stomped on and left as shame.
But Itachi didn't care. His questions had been answered, as he had wanted them to be, and because of that, he saw no reason to interfere. What, after all, was the point of attempting to save the lives of the doomed? Even if he saved their downfall now, what is to say that he had done them any favors? They were to die, when they were to die, after all. There was no one worth saving if no one could see the inevitable end.
Everyone in the clan was a tool, used by others and made to think that they were better than everyone else. They were weak; their minds would never withstand what defined a true nin. Instead they bloated themselves on weak missions, all the while boasting of their success and greatness. They knew nothing of true power, nor of true ability. And because of this, Itachi was fundamentally different than the rest of the clan.
So Itachi kept what he saw quiet. He kept it quiet—he kept silent, as a witness to the fall of the despicable clan. He began to distance himself from others to avoid problems…
But first he had something to do.
It was a secret, something that the clan hid within itself, and it was the key to ultimate power.
The Magenkyou Sharingan.
After he commits the deed, he is approached by fools who think they can defeat him. Perhaps it was their twisted sense of honor. But it was for the clan, they said—and then his father stepped in, assuming that he could stop his son.
Words fell from his lips, words of truth and of weakness within their clan's transparent strength. Words that almost gave away his knowledge; words that, perhaps, were his last effort to saving the clan from its own miserable fate. Instead, he is called arrogant, and they tell him he is saying strange things. They ignore the truth Itachi lays before them, and then Itachi knows. He has been right all this time. The clan has grown fat and lazy in its glory, and the glory is ready to fall. He supposes he should have expected this outcome. The weak will never be anything but the weak, after all. Itachi feels disappointment, but also a sense of superiority at this fact.
It is also at this time that he asks Sasuke a question that he wants to (needs to) know the answer to before he can accomplish anything. So he calls his brother to him one warm afternoon, while their father is out doing his duties and their mother is busy in the kitchen. The younger boy comes to him anxiously, quiet in his happiness, and beams. Itachi wonders how long that smile will last. Then, he quietly asks Sasuke a question—not the one he had wanted to ask, but something he truly wishes to know as a sibling to this boy.
“Do you think perfection is worth everything?”
After speaking, Itachi feels a little abashed. Sasuke was still a child, after all. What is he expecting by asking a child the question that he had always asked himself? Sasuke will—
The answer, for a moment, stills Itachi. It rings throughout his ears, and he cannot help but smile a bit sadly at that. Sasuke thinks the way he did at that age, and because of that, it will be quite a few years before he realizes what is truly going on in the corrupt clan. The answer, for a moment, makes Itachi wonder if perhaps he isn't doing the right thing by letting Sasuke (making Sasuke) do this for him. For it would surely destroy his future. Nonetheless, Itachi takes a breath and asks yet another question.
“Then, Sasuke, would you cry if I died?”
This time the answer came much more quickly, and, deep inside, Itachi cannot help but smile a bit at that. But Sasuke is not finished—
“But aniki will never die, because aniki is…” Sasuke stops, struggling for the right words, with his limited vocabulary. The thought warms Itachi for a moment, but he continues what he had intended to do.
“Sasuke.” He stops his younger brother with a word. “Would you kill me if I ever made a mistake that I could never take back?” The question is true, the question is the affirmative Itachi needs to know that he is doing the right thing—Sasuke is his only hope. Sasuke is the only thing yet to be corrupted. And Itachi will do everything he can to make sure that corruption never touches his brother's soul.
“Aniki?” Itachi looks at Sasuke, whose voice has taken a despairing tone. “Are you going to do something bad?”
Itachi is silent for a moment. “Answer the question, Sasuke.”
“I, um, aniki?”
“That's fine, Sasuke.” Because Sasuke is still a child and asking him now will only prolong the hurt. “Forget I said anything.” Itachi stands up, and steps away from his brother for a moment, before tapping the boy lightly on his forehead. “Mother will have dinner ready soon. Get dressed.”
Sasuke stares for a moment, and Itachi cannot help but grin at the look on his brother's round face. Then the younger male hugged his brother's waist before running down the hall to get changed.
Itachi, left behind, silently drew his lips to a thin line, and walked the opposite way.
They are here, and they are screaming, a beautiful symphony of red and shining silver. Itachi draws the blade across one's chest and slits the throat of another in a smooth stroke. He would leave no one alive but the one that had promised to cry for him.
The moon was red, like he had always known it would be on the day of the clan's downfall, and the tearing of the clan is a little more literal than he had thought. But the clan was disappearing, under his blade, and they will never return. Itachi has known that this would happen since he was a child, since the questions first appeared in his mind. Silently, he watched the figures of the arrogant men and women fall to his feet in death's grasp, and silently he regretted the loss of another human soul. He may have been able to save their lost souls, Itachi thinks, but it is too late now.
Then they are dead—every one of the people he had surrounded himself with since his birth, their blood coating his sword and boots. They are lying at his feet when he hears it, the silent steps of a child. Itachi gets up and onto the highest point of their ancestral home, an iron tube used to store water, and looks into the streets below. At first, he sees nothing, but he activates his eyes and then he sees the small figure darting through the streets.
The boy was finally home. Itachi stood, his figure outlined in the bright red moon, and then he raced to finish the clan before Sasuke could find him.
The ones in the hall were unlucky. They got in his way, whether they were Uchiha or not, and fell to his sword. Itachi was not deliberate in their deaths, and had no doubt several died more painfully than they deserved. But he had something to complete, and he would. The large doors of his parent's bedroom appeared before him, and he touched the handle of the door while scanning the rest of the compound for human aura. When he found nothing but Sasuke and the two of his parents in the room, he pulled open the door.
Immediately, a barrage of kunai swung towards him, and Itachi deflected them, sending them into the wood of the walls before dodging the kick aimed for his stomach. He scanned the figure who had attacked him, and registered that it was his father just as a leg attempted to sweep his legs out from under him. Itachi scoffed at the weak maneuver and crushed the man's calf in return. He kicked his father into the center of the room, closing the door behind him.
The man lay face down, struggling to get up. Itachi swung, prepared to sever the man's head when another body slid into his view. His mother. She hadn't been fast enough to deflect him, Itachi saw, only enough to prevent him for ripping out her bowels. He kicked her to the side, and reversed his hold on the hilt of his katana before pushing it down to where his father's heart should have been. His mother covered her husband's body with her own, and Itachi smiled ironically.
Then he pushed the blade, commanding it to send the two to the grave faster.
He pulled the blade from their bodies once he confirmed they were dead, and stood, waiting, for Sasuke to appear.
When the boy did, Itachi frowned, just a little bit. Why was he scared? Itachi wouldn't kill him. No, Itachi would never be able to kill Sasuke. He walked to the boy, a silent admission on his lips, and the boy rejected him.
Itachi smiled grimly, and activated Tsukiyomi.
It may have been only a few seconds, but Sasuke writhed and screamed, and fell and Itachi silently wondered if this was what all brothers went through. It was the job of the elder to teach the younger how to be strong, wasn't it? Then Itachi released Sasuke from the illusion and spoke very softly.
“Will you kill me, Sasuke, now that I've made a mistake I can never take back?”
The boy shuddered and forced himself to his feet. Itachi stared him in the eyes as Sasuke ran, as fast and as hard as he could on shaky legs. It was commendable, he supposed, but cut off Sasuke's route. The boy screamed and fell to the ground in tears.
Itachi watched this, and then he disappeared.
It is years later, when Itachi's eyes are going bad and Sasuke is not the innocent child he has always been that the younger sibling finally fulfills what he had promised to the elder so long ago.
And as Itachi bleeds to death by a chidori shaped hole clean through him and with his brother's hand still piercing his stomach, Itachi wraps his arms around his brother and speaks.
“I missed you, Sasuke.”
Sasuke is numb, and cannot bring himself to speak the words he had tormented himself with for so long.
Itachi continues. “Now that you have killed me, what will you do?” He waits for an answer patiently, like he has all the time in the world and he isn't bleeding to death.
“I'll revive our clan.” Mentally Sasuke wonders at his use of `our', because didn't Itachi disown himself when he massacred them?
“Be careful not to make it as arrogant and weak as before, Sasuke.” He says, and feels no need to add a `because then someone like me will emerge again'. He smiles, then, and chuckles, although it is a bit forced, and falls.
Sasuke comes down with him, and as they are linked through flesh, Itachi smiles. Then the older brother leans forward, resting his head on his younger brother's neck like he had when Sasuke was a child, and whispers his last words.
“Will you still cry for me?”
Word Count : 2,256
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