The sunset always shines brightest when he's at Sasuke's place. The reds and violets and golds melt through the open kitchen window, dust motes whirling through the colors like flecks of gold dust. Itachi stares out the window as Sakura and Naruto fuss about setting the table—Naruto flicking grains of rice at her as she scolds him. Sasuke is quiet, sitting by his side, but Itachi is watching him as well—out of the corner of his eye. Sasuke is quiet, but there's a content smile flickering across his lips as they bustle about the kitchen. Itachi sits quietly and soaks in his brother's happiness, watching the colors flicker in the air.
There are wires beneath his flesh now, the current of electricity a steady hum that he's just barely aware of as his eyes drift open. They aren't really his eyes anymore though, nor is his skin really flesh. His brother crouches before him, eyes bright with desperation and a stark kind of relief.
"Oh Sasuke," Itachi sighs. "What have you done?"
03. Gods and Demons and Angels, oh my!
"Brother," Sasuke breathes, his cloak flared out behind him. There is snow in his air, and a thin coating of frost rimming his nostrils. He shivers, and Itachi aches to go to him. He raises a hand and smiles at his little brother, letting the air around him grow warmer and warmer until his brother's lips are no longer blue. Sasuke may have forsaken his god-hood, and Itachi may be forbidden to go to him, but the fates said nothing about helping him along the way.
He leaves Sasuke weeping on the shoreline, because there's nothing else he can do. Their family is dead and Itachi has to avenge them. A pirate ship is no place for a child.
05. …In SPACE!!
The Uzumaki brat is chattering to his brother again—hip cocked to one side and forearm braced above Sasuke's head. The things he's done to his jumpsuit are hideous, the bright orange rather than the regulation white and gray is glaring, obvious against the monochromatic sleek metals of the ship. Sasuke rolls his eyes at him, but doesn't pull away from the wall he's been backed into. Uzumaki grins, feral and sharp, and Itachi remembers why the captain had warned him about this boy—this boy with fox genes spliced together to wreak havoc amongst his genetic code. The little troublemaker that nobody knows his reason for being on one of the escape pods when their world was engulfed in flames. The kid who isn't rich enough to have afforded a ticket, but none of the higher ups made a fuss about when they discovered him amongst the higher classes.
Uzumaki laughs and bends closer to his brother, face mere inches from his, and when Sasuke blinks, his eyelashes drag against the other boy's cheek.
Itachi sighs, already moving to his brother's aid when he notices the look in his brother's eyes: amusement and a very faint flicker of affection.
He turns slowly and starts off in the opposite direction. If his brother's found even the slightest amount of happiness aboard this mechanical monstrosity, Itachi isn't cruel enough to take that from him.
06. Born Another Gender
Itachi watches her little sister climb the tree behind their house, dragging her feet through the clear water of the pond as Sasuke shouts things back at her. A koi fish nibbles at the soles of her feet and she smiles down at her reflection. The afternoon sun beats down on her shoulders and when Sasuke falls out of the tree, she's at her sister's side before the crying even starts.
The pencil skitters across the paper, large, endearingly awful characters looping their way down the page. Itachi almost laughs, and is thankful when he doesn't, because when Sasuke turns to him, grinning brightly and saying, "Look, big brother! I wrote your name!" he feels his heart warm a little.
The world does not end with his death. The world doesn't even end when the virus breaks out across the globe. For Itachi, the world ends when his brother's eyes go red with blood—when he shakes apart in Itachi's arms, going still for mere moments before he lurches back up again, teeth snapping at Itachi's face.
For Itachi, the world ends when his little brother dies.
09. Urban Fantasy
When Itachi is turned, Sasuke is not. They stuff Sasuke's little brother in the room with him—tie him to the old ratty sofa in the center of the living room and laughs as Itachi spits up blood in the corner. They leave him there and laugh about how children's blood is the most delicious, so really he should be thankful.
Itachi bites his lip so hard that it tears, blood in his mouth, on his tongue.
His vision goes red.
When he comes back to himself, the monsters who turned him are dead—the door splintered and coming off it's hinges, and Sasuke is sitting in the center of it, pale and unharmed.
"Water, Carbon, Ammonia, Lime, Phosphorous, Salt, Saltpeter, Sulfur, Magnesium, Fluorine, Iron, and Aluminum right?” Itachi glances to his left, chalk powdering his fingertips as he traces the array into the ground. Sasuke grins at him.
“Right! The body’s only a combination of those simple elements. Nothing more. We’re destined to be decomposed by bacteria, and become nutrients for plants, then you follow the process further, those plants nourish herbivores.” The array is nearly finished, and he meets Sasuke in the middle.
“And those herbivores nourish carnivores. Even others like us. And even though we lose awareness our lives keep on moving through the system.” Itachi grins at Sasuke, and as one, they press their hands to the edge of the circle.
They can do this. They'll bring their family back if it kills them.