He couldn't help but smile.
Even with the hatred blazing in the crimson gaze in front of him and the pain wracking his slim frame, the only thought in his mind was that he'd finally succeeded. Sasuke had become strong, even under the insanity and instability of his mind, he was strong., on par with a sannin if he was measuring things right. Even though the teen hated him, even as the chidori blazed in his right hand, Itachi could only feel pride.
He staggered forward, fighting a gasp as the lightning covered hand plunged into his chest. Blood flooded his lungs and trailed down his chin, darkness creeping into his vision. Despite it all, he lifted his arm, ignoring his little brother's flinch, and poked him in the head before falling forward and allowing the darkness to overtake him.
"There is no value in killing the likes of you... if you wish to kill me, then Hate me. Detest me, curse me, and survive in an unsightly way. Run, Run and cling to your pitiful life."
Hate? Who was he supposed to hate? His captors? His demon? His parent's murderer?
His once innocent eyes narrowed into a cold, angry glare.
His captors? Yes.
His captors deserved his hatred. They had humiliated him, tried to break him, then had the nerve to sacrifice him. They would pay for their slights against him!
Why was it that being a sacrifice didn't bother him as much as it should?
His Demon? No.
No matter what happened he would never be able to hate him.
Sebastian was his savior. His salvation. He would be his weapon to wield in the search for his revenge and once it was over…he would be the key to his demise. His salvation.
Why was it his heart panged so longingly at the thought of death?
His parents' murderer? Absolutely.
They more than any other should be the object of his hate, for it was due to their actions that he'd ended up in the hands of that vile cult to begin with. Everything could be traced back to that horrific night. To the smell of burning wood and charring flesh. Of smoke and burning lungs.
He rebelled heavily against the part of him that screamed that this was familiar, only he was playing the wrong role.
He hated them.
He's walking home from an important meeting when he sees them.
Two young boys, one his own age, the other several years younger. The elder boy was teasing the younger, who is pouting.
"Will you play still?"
The elder sighs tiredly, his shoulders slumping under invisible burdens.
"Maybe tomorrow, Jerry."
He turns away and hurries his step, unable to understand why his heart feels so heavy and broken in his chest. He'd never had a sibling before.
His heart tells him he's lying to himself and that night when he sleeps, angry crimson eyes plague his dreams.
She is a guest at the Viscount's ball. Long black hair falls in lush ringlets down her back, her slightly narrowed eyes giving away her eastern heritage. Her gown is a beautiful midnight blue that clings to her torso beautifully before flowing down into a bundle of loose skirts. When she greets him (or rather her at the time), her voice is warm like hot chocolate and just as sweet and yet…he hates her.
He has no reason for it other than the way his heart suddenly feels like it's being crushed in his chest and his lungs feel like they've collapsed.
He avoids her for the rest of the evening.
His only clues to this reaction are the image of a different dark-haired woman, similar to her in appearance covered in blood that overlaps her smiling visage and the echo of a soft whisper.
"I'm sorry it had to be you. I forgive you."
He ignores the voice because after all, what does he know about forgiveness.
Madame Red is Jack the Ripper.
He doesn't understand how he comes to this conclusion, but it hits him while they're playing chess together in his sitting room. He watches her silently, his eyes sharpening so subtly that none of the room's other occupants notice, not even the demon holding his contract.
Something in her posture screams wrong, so wrong, to him but he says nothing listening as she tries to convince him to give his job as the Queen's Hound. He responds with what is expected of him but inside, he hardens his heart knowing that his beloved aunt would not survive the week. His orders were to rid the Queen of Jack the Ripper, and no one comes before the Queen's wishes, not even family.
When she gets ready to leave, he plays as if he were unaware of her deeds and he kisses her goodnight while the demon helps her into her coat.
The 'I love you' he sends her off with seems heavier than it should be.
Why does it feel like he's done this before? He's never murdered a family member, nor had he ever been ordered to rid the world of one.
It's during the confrontation with Grell and Madame Red that it all makes sense.
As his favorite aunt stumbles out of the victim's house covered in blood, something inside him breaks and memories rush into his mind. A cool feeling rushes through his tiny body and he freezes, eyes burning.
He was Uchiha Itachi. He was Ciel Phantomhive. His parents were Uchiha Fugaku and Uchiha Mikoto. His parents were Rachel and Vincent Phantomhive. He was twenty-one years old. He was thirteen. He had a little brother named Sasuke. He was an only child. He was a puppet. He was the puppeteer. He was a shinobi. He was the Queen's GuardDog.
He remembered his baby brother's birth. Remembered joining the academy and graduating at seven years old. Mastering his Sharingan at eight. Becoming a Chuunin at ten and entering the Anbu at eleven, becoming the youngest Anbu captain in history at thirteen.
He remembered the Third Shinobi War and the Kyuubi attack. Remembered protecting the Kyuubi Jinchuriki from the villagers and shinobi alike, befriending the child as he did so. He remembered his best friend's suicide and obtaining the Mangekyou. Remembered his father trying to convince him to spy on the village, not realizing that he was spying for it.
He remembered murdering his family at thirteen years old on order of the council because of proof of a coup d'état. He remembered forcing his otouto to relive their parents' deaths over and over again with the powers of the Mangekyou just to plant the seeds of hatred that would spurn Sasuke into a downward spiral but enable him to grow stronger.
He remembered the tears that streamed down his cheeks as he faced his mother whispering her forgiveness as he slit her throat. Fleeing his home, a criminal and joining the Akatsuki. Becoming Kisame's partner.
Watching Sasuke grow. His sorrow at hearing that his brother was in Orochimaru's clutches. Pride, when he heard the teen had killed the bastard sannin. His death at the hands of the one he gave up everything for.
So many memories flashed in his mind at the speed of light and he was dimly aware of Madame Red speaking.
"Well, I hadn't counted on this. I didn't think anyone would be able to figure out what Grell truly is."
He stared at her, and he feels a broken chuckle building in his chest as those words once again echo in his head and for once he understands.
There is no value in killing the likes of you... Foolish little brother, if you wish to kill me, then Hate me. Detest me, curse me, and survive in an unsightly way. Run, Run and cling to your pitiful life."
The irony of it all doesn't escape him.
Still after explaining his reasoning behind suspecting her he turns to Sebastian, thankful that he had prepared for this eventuality.
His soul shudders, burdened by his memories and his next order but he ignores it all because all along the voices were right.
"Sebastian, in my name and that of the Queen. I order you, get rid of them."
It wasn't the first time he'd had to sacrifice a piece of himself on order of another.