"N-no! Leave me alone. Stay back!" I cried, backing towards the stone wall. The coldness crept through my clothes and rattled at my spine. For the first time in my training, first time in my life; I was scared.
I was only a girl then; still in my fresh teens. I was, what my parents called, a "Ninjutsu Prodigy." I had mastered half of the most complex jutsus at the age of nine, and then the others a year later. Because of my abilities, I was ranked the highest in all of the clan, my runner-up being my own cousin: Itachi Uchiha.
Naturally, he surpassed me as the years drew on. But only because I had slacked off when I was meant to be training. If I had payed more attention, I'd be the most respected member of the family, not Itachi.
Because of this degradation, I vowed to become a better ninja than Itachi, thus beginning our "sibling" rivalry. If he took a challenging mission, I'd take one that was even harder; if he mastered a Fire Style justu, I'd master an Ice or Water Style in order to gain the upper hand when we sparred.
Little did I know at the time, Itachi was only testing my mettle—testing my heart.
"Itachi, why are you doing this?!" I shrieked, tears running down my cheeks. I never cried. So why was I now?
Because Itachi wasn't playing. He really was killing the clan. And he was planning to kill me too.
I slid down the wall and into the dust below my feet. How could Itachi go from my most beloved family member, to a psychopathic mass-murderer? Itachi never did anything unless he had a purpose. So, what was his motives then?
I choked down a couple sobs. "Itachi-kun," I croaked, "tell me why... Why are you doing this? You know I'll listen to anything you say."
Itachi only stared, his Sharingan eyes gleaming in the moonlight.
My eyes welled with more tears. Not because I knew I was going to die, but because I wasn't fighting back. All my training, whether it was solitary or with Sasuke or Itachi, would all go to waste if I never used it. I was taught the art of Ninjutsu to protect myself in life-or-death situations like this.
And here I was: bawling my eyes out over one simple little betrayal.
I gritted my teeth and reached for a kunai, not once breaking my glare from Itachi.
"Itachi-kun, tell me why, or you'll regret it."
"Weasel, answer me!"
I snarled and threw the kunai at his chest with all my might. It was a "miss-move," as Itachi had called it when we trained, because he could have seen it from a mile away. He, naturally, dodged it quickly. The kunai hit the adjacent wall and clattered to the ground.
"Necro, I thought you could do better."
My eyes heated with more tears, but I wouldn't let them fall. Not yet.
"I thought you could do better, Itachi! You know better than this, I know it!" I screamed and charged for him. He made no move to evade, and yet I still missed my hit.
For a split-second, my heart stopped. Then, I felt his hand on my shoulder—behind me.
"Necro, I'm doing this to protect you and Sasuke."
I opened my mouth to retort, but the words didn't seem to want to escape. They only gurgled in my throat and came back out as a loud sob. My chest tightened and twisted; my heartbeat quickened. Then, a misplaced thought crossed my mind. It was stupid, I know, but it saved me from the heartbreak of losing Itachi on top of my family and clan.
I turned around and latched onto his chest, my wet face nuzzling him.
"Take me. I don't want to stay here anymore," I begged, my voice cracking, "I want to learn, so I can beat you when we spar again, if we get to spar again."
Itachi didn't hug me back, nor did he try to pry me off. He just stood there, as if he was thinking.
"Why? You don't hate me for this?"
I lifted my head and stared into his eyes.
"I'd never hate you, Weasel. You always have a reason for everything you do. This is no exception. Whether you had good intentions or not, you'll still be my cousin"—I forced my lips to upturn in a smug grin—"and my rival, whom I'd never let out of my sight for as long as I roam this earth."
Itachi hesitated, then nodded slowly. He wrapped his arms around me as held me tight. "Thank you...Necro."
I giggled and let my eyelids slip shut.
"No problem, Weasel. Just don't leave me, m'kay?"
:: Years Later ::
"Yo, 'Tachi," I grunted from were I sat in the Akasuki lounge. My cousin sighed quietly and opened his eyes.
I yawned and picked my ear with my pinkie. "Remember back then, when you killed the clan?"
Itachi frowned. "How could I forget..."
I laughed. "Yeah, sorry"—all the impulsive childishness left my face in the blink of an eye—"but... Why did you? I mean, the only thing you gained from that day was Sasuke's hatred, and my loyal trust, nothing more."
Itachi's Sharingan eyes dimmed. Did I make a bad move?
"I-it's alright, Weasel-senpai! You don't have t-"
"It was a mission, Necro."
I blinked, frowning. "Who gave it to you then?"
"That is of no concern to you right now," Itachi snapped. He almost never got mad at me—or anyone, for that matter. Maybe it was because I asked him about it...
I sighed and slumped against the couch. Maybe...
Maybe he really did do it to protect me and Sasuke. I never thought what he did was wrong. Then again, why does Sasu-chan think Itachi did it to hurt him?
I bit my lower lip and groaned, leaning up against my arm. Itachi was a good man, that part was true, but his little brother—my sweetest cousin—turned out to be much darker than he ever was before. What did Itachi say to Sasuke that messed him up so bad? And, why didn't he say it to me?
I closed my eyes and sank into a deep slumber.
It'll never matter to me, as long as I stay with Itachi. Nothing will hurt him as long as I'm here, not even his disease.
Or my idiot cousin Sasuke.