Chapter 1: Symphony of Destruction
Author's Note: Parts of this fic have been in my draft for ages, but finally, I am proud to present this fic.It's darker than anything I've written before (even more so than Pieces of You and Where My Life Begins, mind you).This is the first time I'm combining both Itachi/Sasuke and Madara/Izuna in one single fanfic. Even Shisui gets a taste of the cookie this time!
This fic is dedicated to my good friend and most faithful reader, Shirayuki-hime. Thanks for being so damn wonderful. I hope you'll enjoy this, darling.
Many thanks to my awesome beta reader May, mza418.
Chapter 1: The Symphony of Destruction
The corner of the street looked like an intricate piece of art, painted by hand with the utmost care.
The wine red color created splendid patterns, going in circles surrounding the body on the dirty pavement. The painting looked like a spider's web, ending in a big, perfectly symmetrical circle that surrounded the entire scene. There was so much of the rich color; several liters must have been used to create the unique, detailed picture.
The work must have taken hours to create, swirling in morbid patterns and circles, almost looking like a student's bored scribbling. A darker red, almost black color was used to paint three commas, placed in the shape of a triangle within the red circle.
In the middle of the circle, between the three dots, was where the victim was placed. Everything about her was well thought out and carefully performed: the way her white nightgown was neatly spread and splattered with symmetrical dark red stains; her long, black hair was arranged in a festive swirl; and her eyelashes and cheeks were painted with mascara.
She hadn't fallen or had been thrown there; someone had carefully carried and placed her there. Her skin was absolutely dry; there wasn't a single ounce of blood left in her body. Her arms were placed on her right side and her head tilted slightly upwards, as if someone had tried to perform life-saving exercises on her. Her dry, gray lips were parted, her eyelids closed and stained with fresh blood.
The stains on her dress suggested that she had had several open wounds that were left bleeding onto the cloth. Her hips were slashed with three cuts. Between her slightly parted legs, a perfectly straight trail of blood was left, ending in a dark puddle. She was placed so gracefully with not a strand of hair out of place. It looked as if she was sleeping peacefully.
The officers at the place had witnessed a lot in their days, but this was one of the most sickening crime scenes they had ever seen.
Shisui could feel himself pale, and he had to swallow hard to not throw up his dinner. He had been called here off-duty, after some passersby had called the police.
"That poor woman," he mumbled to himself. "I can't imagine what she had to go through…"
One of his colleagues shook his head, disgust in his eyes. "The sick motherfucker who did this… what demon would kidnap a young girl from her home and leave her in the streets like this?"
What unsettled Shisui the most wasn't the victim's blood that had been used like paint throughout the entire alley. Nor how young she seemed to be, probably just in her twenties. She had a face like a porcelain doll and her hair was styled as if she was going to a party, yet she wore pajamas without underwear on.
The thing that sickened him the most was the painted Sharingan that surrounded her body, the three dots. She was placed in the middle, where the pupil was supposed to be.
This was really bad. It could easily link back to his family, the Uchihas. The thought made him sick to his stomach. There weren't many left of them. What if the killer was an Uchiha?
No, there was no way. There was only the chief's family left, and they all worked in the name of justice. Moreover, it was physically impossible. Chief Uchiha and his wife didn't live in Japan at the moment, and that left only Itachi, Sasuke and himself.
His boss approached him and tore him out of his thoughts.
"Shisui," he grunted. "The police force is already heavily strained. I will leave you in charge of this case. You will only get a few men with you to work on this, but your ten years of experience should pay off by now. For your sake, you better solve this." He continued in a snide way: "After all, it seems to be a family affair, doesn't it?"
Shisui felt a cold lump in the bottom of his stomach. "Chief, I assure you –"
"You're wasting my time. Don't make your father disappointed. I will get back to you for the autopsy report. Now get to work!" he cut off grumpily.
Shisui hurriedly went to assist his colleagues. His boss always played the father-card when he wanted him to do something. Just because his father, Kagami Uchiha, had worked in the police force for over twenty years before he was shot to death during a case, Shisui had been worked even harder by his boss.
The whole alley was blocked by police tape. Shisui felt unsure – everything was up to him now. His boss's words were echoing inside of him – he knew he could never live up to his father's name. He simply didn't have his exceptional skills.
He found himself pulling out his cell phone from his uniform pocket, and calling the familiar number of the one who would always help him out in tough situations.
"Hey. Are you busy?"
"Shisui? What's going on?" Itachi sounded worried.
"I'm at a crime scene right now. Murder. Pretty gory. Also, I've just been assigned the entire case."
There was a short silence. "I'm coming right away. Where is it?"
"Just around the corner from that sushi restaurant, you know. I should probably warn you though –"
Itachi had already hung up. Less than ten minutes later, he parked his black SUV by the police cars. Shisui sighed in relief.
"Well well, if it isn't Itachi Uchiha himself?" Shisui's boss approached the man, something sarcastic in his tone.
"I have no business with you," Itachi cut him off coldly.
"Here for Shisui I suppose? Well, he needs all the help he can get," the police chief remarked crudely. "The intelligence that is known to run in your family must have skipped a generation after Kagami." He laughed to himself as he walked away.
Itachi inspected the range of the crime scene. "Don't listen to him, Shisui. I know you are just as bright as me – sometimes even better."
"Don't say that. You are still our pride, Itachi."
His cousin looked him in the eyes. "I will help you solve this, no matter what it takes. Moreover, that Sharingan the killer painted is pretty obvious. I think the message here is directed at us."
The dark shadow watched them unnoticed. "Assuming you know how to play my game, huh?" Sharp teeth were revealed as it parted its lips in an amused smile. His hands were still warm from the victim's fresh blood.
"It will be a pleasure playing with you," he smirked.
Nothing is as delightful as waking up beside the person you love. Itachi was convinced he hadn't done many good things in his life, but nothing could ever have been worth the joy of feeling his little brother's body in his arms every morning.
He smiled to himself when he thought about it: all the ways they'd taken each other in. From falling asleep in each other's arms, in an innocent and sweet brotherly embrace, to nights boiling with passion and lust, heated kisses on bare skin and sensual movements. Filling Sasuke with his love, no words could describe that feeling. He adored being inside of him and tasting his hot, feverish kisses.
This morning started just as delightfully as usual, but he realized with a sigh that he didn't have time to stay in with Sasuke today. The days they could spend together in peace were few, but it was always worth it when he got to hold him close and kiss him until he woke up.
Itachi gently kissed the soft, porcelain white forehead of his sleeping brother before leaving the bed. He already missed that warmth.
When Sasuke woke up sometime around noon (he knew his parents would strongly disapprove if they knew, but he didn't care), he found himself lying alone in the messed up sheets. His body was sprawled out and taking up almost the entire king-sized mattress.
He briefly wondered how Itachi could stand sharing a bed with him almost every night when Sasuke had the habit of moving around like crazy. Sometimes, he would find that he had managed to throw the heavy duvet onto the floor, using his poor brother's body as a blanket instead. Itachi never complained about it though.
Disappointed to find only himself in the much too big bed, he started looking around for his clothes, but there was no sight of them. All the expensive cushions had fallen onto the floor, but he couldn't care less. He hated waking up alone. He'd much rather have Itachi there with him, sleeping on a cheap wooden bed with an old, reused and dirty mattress than being alone with shamefully expensive bed materials.
They'd only get dirty either way – and there was nothing he hated as much as trying to wash semen away from Chinese silk linen. He'd much rather be in a prison cell if it meant Itachi would stay and make love to him all day long, feeding him his special 'breakfast' in bed. But some pillows would be nice of course, so he could bury himself in them while Itachi ravaged his body. He needed that so much…
Pushing aside the feeling of loneliness, he realized with a sigh that it was Saturday, on an uneven week. Which meant: Shisui-day. When their father made Itachi and Shisui join his juridical company, they had a lot of paperwork to do together. Moreover, the cousins had also started working on a recent case together.
Sasuke knew he shouldn't sulk for that; their father had a lot of reasons to make Itachi obey him – first of all, he could send Sasuke home to him and their mother any day. But still, nothing was fun without his Nii-san and he hated being without him.
It had even been a while since they had had one of those special nights, which he realized when he woke up with his boxers on, again. He really missed the feeling of Itachi's bare, gorgeous body pressed tightly to his own, his arms holding him with the promise of protection and care.
Sasuke put on a t-shirt and strode into the kitchen, where his brother and Shisui sat at the kitchen table with several piles of paper and two laptops in front of them. Both were casually dressed, and Itachi had put up his long hair in his usual ponytail.
Sasuke couldn't help but pout when he realized that their cousin would keep Itachi occupied the whole day.
"Good morning, sleepyhead," Itachi greeted him, a small smile on his lips despite not looking up from the screen.
"Bad morning, you mean." The younger didn't care if he came off as childish; he just wanted to spend time with his brother. Itachi already worked late almost every weekday.
Itachi gestured for him to come closer, and the younger guessed he'd just poke his forehead. Nevertheless, he couldn't keep himself from approaching the elder anyway. As soon as Sasuke came within his reach, Itachi cupped his face and kissed him softly, his lips gently crushing the younger's pout. Sasuke melted into the kiss, feeling his sour mood slowly disappear.
He wrapped his arms around his big brother's neck to keep him close, for a few more moments, before Shisui came to steal him away. Itachi smiled tenderly when the kiss ended.
"Sasuke, I promise we'll do something special tonight." His whispering words tickled the younger's earlobe, and Sasuke could barely contain a shiver. Itachi saw it too and raised an eyebrow. Sasuke could see in his eyes what he was thinking. But that'd have to wait, because reality needed immediate attention.
They heard Shisui chuckling quietly from his place across the table. "My, my, there are sparkles around you two."
Itachi pretended not to hear. "See you soon, Otouto." He winked at him.
Sasuke grabbed the juice can, lost in his own thoughts. God, when he finally got some time alone with his brother… nothing would stop him.
Itachi sighed and returned to his laptop. He wanted to solve this case as soon as possible, not only to get more free time to spend with Sasuke. He was also afraid of what would happen if the culprit was believed to be an Uchiha. It was truly strange indeed, considering how small their family had become.
"Do you think he's one of us?" Shisui spoke up, as if he had read his thoughts.
"We have many enemies," his cousin reminded him. "I think that it's more likely someone who wants to cast a bad light on our family. Maybe there is a hidden message in the way the victim was displayed."
"I just don't see what," Shisui complained. "We have no evidence at all – no fingerprints, footprints, fibers or hair. We aren't dealing with some sloppy madman here – this guy, whoever he is, is smart and calculating."
Itachi raised an eyebrow. "We are smarter. He doesn't know who he's dealing with."
"You don't think we need the FBI?"
"Father can play with them as he pleases. The Japanese police force is fully capable of handling this alone."
He took another look at the high-rendered pictures on his laptop. He didn't usually work on murder cases – the few times he had been asked to assist the police force, it was mostly innocent cases, such as tax frauds.
Itachi was exceptionally good at noticing details, which made him more suited for his actual profession, a prosecutor. Just like his father, he was known to be ruthless in court. No one could talk themselves out of a situation if they were up against Itachi Uchiha or his father.
It was his job to take care of the prosecution, but first they had to catch the guy. Which, of course, was the hardest part of the process.
The images were truly repulsive. How many liters had been taken from the victim's body? It looked as if someone had emptied a whole bucket of red paint all over the street, but unfortunately, that wasn't the case."
"How do you think he managed to empty her body without cutting her up?" Shisui wondered aloud and shuddered.
Itachi ignored the question. "Has she been identified?"
"Yeah. She's a civilian, no one important. Twenty years old, a college student. Worked in retail, it seems. No criminal record. Her relatives don't know anything. She had a boyfriend, but he was confirmed to be out of town that night. There was no drama surrounding her."
"I see." Itachi's voice was focused. "When people are killed because of jealousy or love drama, they always know their murderer – he might even have the key to her place and is often well-known among her friends. But the way she was dressed in her sleeping gown, and the fact that there weren't any signs that she put up a fight – I think she was picked randomly."
"They've been searching through her home. There were no signs of a burglary. Her three younger siblings were at home, waiting for her to come home. They were financially dependent on her, how sad…"
"We need to focus, Shisui. We're losing precious time."
"Now you sound exactly like my boss."
Itachi kept looking through the pictures. "Is the autopsy report done?"
"Not yet. But they've already made several inspections of her body. She has been cut on both of her hips with three slashes. Both her shoulders have been stabbed as well as her forehead, and guess where the trail of blood came from? The sicko went into her body with a knife, and carved at her cervix. Her eyelids were also cut, extremely lightly without damaging the eyes. He probably used a scalpel for that one. The rest seems to have been made with a heavier knife."
"The attack on her womb indicates a gender-discrimination crime. Maybe it is supposed to resemble abortion?" Shisui continued.
Itachi shook his head. "I think the eyes are a much more important symbol. The Sharingan – three dots. Three wounds on her hips. Three cuts on each of her eyelids. It's a pattern."
Shisui's phone started beeping. As he answered, Itachi looked up to see Sasuke standing in the doorway, fully clothed. "Nii-san, I'm going to Naruto's place."
"Fine, Otouto. Take care." Itachi still felt bad for leaving his brother alone that much, but no matter how much he wished to change it, he had his duties.
"…Shit. I'm coming right away." Shisui abruptly stood up, closing his laptop. He hung up and looked at Itachi. "Our dear murderer has struck again… only a couple of blocks away. I have to get there at once." His voice was grim.
Sasuke stopped in his tracks as he was heading towards the front door. "Wait, what have I missed? Are you two chasing a murderer?"
Itachi sent a quick glare to his cousin, who gave an apologetic look in return.
"I guess you could say that I am, but Itachi is just helping me out a little bit," Shisui tried to explain nervously.
"By discussing classified information with you at the kitchen table?" Sasuke replied sarcastically.
"Look, kiddo…" Damn him – Sasuke was far too witty and clever for his age. But being the little brother of a master of rhetoric speeches had its perks. His younger cousin crossed his arms in front of his chest. He really was Itachi's little brother, it wasn't hard to tell.
Shisui glanced at his clock. "This is actually classified info. I'm not allowed to give you any details."
"Except that my brother is working for you?"
"Sasuke," Itachi interfered. "He's in a real hurry."
"I'll call you later." Shisui quickly collected his documents and laptop and threw them into his bag before heading for the door.
"I better go with him," Itachi sighed. "Otouto, I want you to stay here. The streets aren't a safe place to be in right now."
"But I promised Naruto that I'd –"
"It doesn't matter. I want you to stay at home until we've searched the area. There is a murderer on the loose."
"I don't want you to go out there." The younger boy's voice was defiant.
"I can take care of myself."
"Yeah, sure you can." Sasuke rolled his eyes.
"Sasuke…" The elder stepped closer to him, seeking eye contact. His little brother still had his arms crossed, obviously upset.
"I'll be back in a few hours. I've got to assist Shisui on this. The more I help him, the quicker this will be over. I promise, I'll make it up to you tonight." He leaned closer and let his mouth touch Sasuke's. The younger boy sourly responded to the kiss, giving in. "Alright, then. Take care, Nii-san."
As Itachi left the big apartment, he couldn't help but feel uneasy. If their home wasn't practically impossible to break into, he'd be worried for his brother. He had made up his mind – he wouldn't stop until the guilty one was sitting behind bars. Everything depended on him and Shisui now.
He was completely unaware of the two dark eyes watching him from the shadows.
Thanks for reading! Please let me know what you think so far.