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[fic] Come, itashi
hwister
Title: Come
Summary: Five times Shisui took Itachi home. Is not as dirty as it sounds.

Notes: Short and extremely rushed.I haven't written ItaShi in a while. So, please forgive. :) This actually has a semblance of a plot. Who am I kidding.

~

One.

The white steam of rice porridge lulls him to consciousness, a clean smell mixed with something frying nearby. Daylight filters in through shuttered windows. Itachi shudders awake, grips his head with both hands, remembers waiting for an explosion that doesn't come.

He's up, a young voice announces dully. A rustle of cold air indicates someone taking their leave from his bedside.

Itachi recognizes the voice rather than the bleary form hovering over him, a dipper of water in hand, the same voice yelling vainly over the thump of flak vests, and the rumble of war. His cousin Shisui, or what he remembers of him, bird bones and blood thirst rolled in one.

Itachi – a voice says, older – your family will be so relieved. Why were you outside? We didn't know what to think when Shisui dragged you here.

(A pair of hands, cradling him to an equally bony chest, trying to shift him so their ribs would clang against each other; dark hair spilling on blue fabric, sweaty and matted; being mulishly carried through debris and smoke and fire. Careful steps.)

Not dragged.

Itachi coughs like he's had a mouthful of ash and blinks. Everything comes into clearer focus: a safe room with its rafters groaning against the weight of a mountain, a harried woman scanning his face for injuries, a boy peering behind her, curious and smirky.

~

Two.

Sasuke grabs Itachi's arm like staking a claim whenever Shisui comes close. Itachi – hopeless – remarks that this is generally considered adorable. Often, Shisui merely raises his eyebrows and backtracks, raising his hands like uh, okay, whatever. Sometimes he can't remain impassive and cracks a smile, shaking his head. I swear, Sasuke, you... anyway, I'll just see you later, Itachi.

Later sees them lying side by side on a cot that's seen better days. Shisui drags it to the rooftop where the warm air is heavy with the scent of leaves and water. The Nakano river viewable from their perch, to the right, black in the night. The village lit like lanterns to their left, cracked and water-damaged and quiet. They talk the tiredness out of their bones from a satisfying afternoon of training and swimming, drifting in and out of conversation.

Glad I finally caught you without your little devotee, Shisui murmurs drowsily, eyes glazed and liquid darkness. Heh, got to take you home.

Itachi looks up from where he'd been whittling a piece of bamboo to nothing. He starts to say something maybe defensive when Shisui laughs, waving it off. No, no, I get it. You'll always pick Sasuke. I understand. That's cool.

~

Three.

A dusty road stretches before them. Trails of light break through the encroaching darkness, a storm curling on the horizon that they have fifty-fifty change of outrunning. Okay, maybe twenty-seventy.

It's a long way to go from Suna territories to Konoha.

Shisui starts them on a slow walk, give Itachi time to recover from the giant beast that attacked them out of nowhere. Itachi stumbles, having been bait and all, so beat up he can't keep his eyes open. He's thinking brain-damage and sleep and maybe says it aloud because Shisui finally stops his determined march home.

Whoa, easy there, Shisui says. He considers Itachi's crumbled heap for a moment before hefting him up on his back. Itachi relaxes to the touch: hands thrown over the shoulder, naturally, carelessly, even going as far as to put a chin there.

Here we go. Hold on tight. Shunshin no jutsu, then chakra usurping flesh, the world blurring into speed, miles eaten up beneath their feet.

Shisui manages several blitzes until he's severely out of breath, and the two of them crawl the rest of the way home.

Nice try, Itachi says.

~

Four.

Shisui takes him drinking on the banks of the Nakano one night. They're too young to drink, but maybe that was appropriate in a world gone so so wrong. It wasn't even long ago that their relationship changed from friends to something else, built upon half-made sentences that dwindled breathlessly and fumbling hands and no-one-else-will-ever-mean-something-to-me-the-way-you-do.

I'd follow you anywhere, Shisui had once said, throwing in their lots two for one, like they were married.

Now: a divide of loyalties. Shisui with his daytime job of being constantly answerable to the clan, soldier fealty shining through the riotous swirl of his personality. Itachi with his burden of secrets that pushed and pulled at his skin, shifting like light and shadow in water.

Clan business has gone to shit. It's confusing, confusing, and why-the-hell-should-I-care, Shisui says, leaning to him, head pushing into the hollow between Itachi's neck and shoulder. I need a distraction.

Later: Oh man, I'm seriously going to have to take you home like this. Some police officer I am. And did you know the Chief is your father?

Let's go to your house, Itachi suggests, a little sloshed.

I don't even know if that makes it worse, Shisui protests, but takes Itachi home anyway.

As Shisui sleeps, Itachi watches. He pushes back Shisui's curls, ghosts fingers over the thin face. The forehead is marred by frown lines. Shisui makes terrible noises too, but softly, like whining. Or crying.

I'm sorry for what I must do, Itachi thinks. Follow you anywhere, Shisui said but maybe not, and Itachi can't afford that risk, not with Sasuke involved. Itachi wouldn't know how to exist without his kid brother. Sasuke first. I'm not asking you to understand.

Something wrenches in his chest, terror and love and loyalty intertwined, knocks the breath out of him, like a kick right there .

~

Five.

Itachi is tired, so tired of an exhaustion beyond his bones and spanning years.

The last several years he'd clung to that wavering thread – Sasuke – meanwhile seeing only endless roads and shimmery plains, old forests and too many rivers, sticking to dirt and darkness. A litany of seedy bars and travelling inns and cloaks for disguises behind him, without shelter or hearth or rest, mirrors constantly reflecting a face with followed cheeks and gray skin under the eyes. A long journey in a dangerous loop, circling Konoha and his brother, taking orders upon orders and waiting.

Lying on on the side of the road, under a vast array of stars undeserved, chasing sleep, a blank space beside him where someone sun-drenched and star-kissed once had been, Itachi feels – not regret, but close to it – heavy and hollow and too-tight. A slow drowning.

Death – when it comes, the disease in his lungs taking its final toll, Sasuke's attacks cutting deep all over his skin – is almost a relief.

He closes his eyes and there is clean air. Smells like porridge and something fried. A tired sense of fulfillment, like after an afternoon spent swimming in rushing waters. A bright light like chakra flaring into wings and impossible speed. A hand with elegant fingers gripping his wrist. A voice, male and familiar, carrying him.

Come, I'll take you home.

~
~
~

I have no excuse. Happy anniversary to, like, the best people ever. \o/


Shit this embarrassing has consequences. I just hope it moves like it's supposed to.
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I love your writing endlessly. You know that, right? And also, HAPPY ENDING, HELL YES!

And omg, you used the words "Itachi" and "sloshed" in one sentence /faints

AW GOD THANKS. Happiness has to be there somewhere, my heart can't take it otherwise.

Semi-drunk Itachi, because I need him young and vulnerable and prone to emotion. :')

I almost cried. D; This was magnificent. star-kissed, talking the tiredness out of bones, not regret but something close to it. These are going to echo around in my head for a long time.

Thanks!

...I didn't mean to make anyone cry, unless its the good sobfest of homecoming and reunion and such. :)

Yaaaay, I missed your ItaShi fics! Your writing is gorgeous, as always, and you actually managed to make that ending happy. Kudos!

I missed everything else! Happy endings are NEEDED. As well as sugar, lots of sugar. Like your fic's brand of sugar. Who needs paper? We need carbs.

Happy anniversary to bitter-nakano fanfic writers! Interesting writing style, I like number five of it all!

Thanks! what writing style

Your writing style dar, ♥

Awwwh... that was adorable!

I literally have nothing else to say because everyone already said that it was basically awesome. ♥

Jealous Sasuke! He knows! >>

Thanks! ♥

Sasuke has Shissey-senses. ;)

I love you forever and ever. Your writing never fails to make me fall in love with this pairing over and over again. It makes my heart ache unbearably and then makes me melt all in the same sentence.

Thank you once again for sharing your writing talent with everyone on the community!

Aw thanks! And, omg, how can you say stuff like that out of the blue? I am blushing (kinda).

No problem! The community oozes with enough writing talent to attract me magnetically.

WELL I FOR ONE am disappoint by your false advertising >:| And the fact that it's too cold for me to go to the beach. Ah, the old "lovely memories to lure you into complacency before the literary kick in the gut". I'm going to do something to cheer me up now T___T

what false advertising? 0_o (when is summer there anyway? here, it's pretty much...all year...XD)

You know that's my MO. Sorry anyway, I should've warned. :(

Omg, this is so, so beautiful ;_;

I'd forgotten how amazingly you write. Seriously, no words ♥

Also, those pictures are too adorbs :D

Thanks! I'd also forgotten how heart-achey these two are.

I'd have to have some reason to use the 30+ failed attempts at a jumpshot. My sides were hurting without a single good one. My brother is FAIL at quick photography.

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