Brother Against Brother (Part 1)
“I had planned to wait for you to come find me, but our Leader seems to think you’ll get in the way of our plans and I’ve been ordered to take you out.” Itachi said flatly.
“Just like that?” Sasuke hissed, “You’re just going to kill me like you did to the clan?!”
“He’s a feisty one.” You heard a third voice say. You didn’t recognize it.
“Orders are orders.” Itachi’s tone was bland, emotionless. You felt the chill of it and no doubt Sasuke was feeling it like a knife.
“Can I have the honor?” The third voice chimed.
“Not this time, Kisame.” Itachi said, “This is between my little brother and I.”
“I’m going to kill you.” There was such an intense rage emanating from Sasuke that you actually moved away a little. It would probably be best to stay out of this fight.
“It seems you’ve thrived on your hate and resentment of me. Good.” You felt Sasuke calm, he must be using his Sharingan… “I’m curious…” Itachi went on, “how much can you actually see?”
“What I’m seeing right now, Itachi, is your death.” Sasuke said calmly.
“My death, huh?” You heard Itachi shift around, “Well then… make it happen!”
There were small gusts of wind as the two rushed after each other. You moved a good distance away to listen and keep from getting involved. That Kisame probably did the same.
You heard the clash of metal from weapons colliding, followed by thuds and grunts as the Uchihas threw each other around, knocking into trees or sliding across the ground. Eventually, you even heard the ominous chirping of Sasuke’s chidori and you took precautions by moving just a little further away.
Sasuke shouted “Chidori Stream!” and then the sound of him dragging the condensed chakra on the ground followed. There was a brief moment where time stilled before the chirping died away and you heard the surprised gasp of Itachi as the sound of Sasuke’s blade was heard penetrating his body.
“You’ve become… strong.” Itachi breathed.
Sasuke’s angry voice sounded next, “I have one last thing to ask…” but no question followed.
There was a moment of pause, pure silence before you heard the sound of crows. Had you been able to see, you would have been stunned at the sight of a fake body disintegrating into the dark birds and Itachi standing off on the sidelines.
Sasuke tsk’ed, “Another farce with your special jutsu?”
“What do you want to know?” Itachi asked. “It’s not over, but I’ll hear you out.”
“I’ll say it once more…” Sasuke went on but an unexpected slice resonated trailed by Itachi letting out a short cough. You heard the hiss of snakes and knew then that Sasuke had used a genjutsu he learned from Orochimaru to get close to his brother. “I have one last thing to ask… That’s what I said, you bastard! Answer my question! That pain in your chest won’t subside until you answer.”
Itachi sounded disinterested, “So you purposefully missed a vital spot…”
Sasuke ignored him, “You said back then… ′If you awaken the Mangekyo Sharingan, there will be three, including myself, who possess its powers. Then, there will be meaning in letting you live’. The third person, the other one with the Sharingan… who in the Uchiha Clan is it?”
“Why the curiosity about such a thing?”
“I’m going to kill him after you. That’s why.” You were appalled at this revelation. Sasuke had never shown any interest in wanting to go after someone else. He had told you numerous times that all that was left was to go after his brother and kill him and then--just maybe--the two of you could return to Konoha together.
“When you killed off the entire clan, you mentioned the existence of another person. So that Uchiha member you didn’t kill was a co-conspirator. Even you could not kill the entire Police Force by yourself.”
“So you figured it out?” Itachi sounded amused.
“Who is it?!” Sasuke said angrily as he pushed his weapon in further to put his brother in more pain. Itachi didn’t make a sound, however.
“It’s Madara Uchiha.”
There was terror in Sasuke’s voice now, “Madara… Uchiha?!”
“One of the Founders of the Hidden Leaf Village… The man who first possessed the Mangekyo Sharingan.”
“Founder? That Madara should be long dead! Are you making fun of me?!”
“Madara is alive…” Itachi said tiredly. “It’s up to you whether you believe that or not.”
“Stop joking around!” Sasuke shouted.
“In order to survive, we cling to all we know and understand. And we label it reality. But knowledge and understanding are ambiguous. That reality can be an illusion. All humans live with the wrong assumptions. Isn’t that another way of looking at it?”
“Just what are you trying to say?”
There was a short pause before Itachi answered, “It’s only your assumption that Madara is dead. In exactly the same way that you once assumed that I was your kind older brother. I just pretended to be the kind of brother you wanted… in order to measure your vessel.”
“What happened that night… I was so young and thought it was all an illusion. That I was caught in a cruel genjutsu… I wanted to believe that. But that was…” The chirp of Sasuke’s chidori echoed as he shouted at his brother, “Unmistakably reality!”
“My eye is not like it was in the past! My sharingan can see through genjutsu!” Itachi shouted, “You still speak with such confidence. But for now, I’ll take your word for it.”
Sasuke sighed as the chirping died away as he never hit his brother with it, “Why don’t we end this little charade?”
“Being confident is fine. But Sasuke, your eye still isn’t the same as mine.” Itachi sounded amused but he also sounded from a different location, opposite of where he had been. You realized that it had been a ruse--more genjutsu--and Sasuke had yet to put a scratch on his brother. “So… you couldn’t kill the friend who is most dear to you. And you dared to appear before me with such weak resolve?”
Sasuke scoffed, “Then hurry it up and try to kill me with your Mangekyo Sharingan. Or is it too difficult to test your capability against me now?”
“You’re pretty sure of yourself…” Itachi switch subjects, “Mangekyo Sharingan… This eye is special… From the moment it awakens, it goes towards the dark. And the more it is used, the more it is sealed.”
“What do you mean?”
“In time, the Mangekyo Sharingan loses its light.”
You hadn’t expected that revelation. Even knowing all Itachi had done and all the pain he had caused, you could never wish blindness on anyone. It was a horrible burden to have and it disabled you in a lot of ways…
In a way, you felt sorrow for Itachi’s impending kismet.