Rating: Light R (Blood, marking)
Summary: Sasuke takes Itachi to an abandoned hideout of his to train. While there, he gives the older man a proposition that interests them both, and distracts the pair for awhile.
Notes: Backdated to mid December of 2009. I forgot to post it. ^^;
Sasuke: The two Uchiha had been traveling a good part of the day toward Sasuke's hideout in Fire Country. On the way there, the younger Uchiha had been on the lookout for something on the ground. Once one was spotted, Sasuke swooped down from the branches like a hawk to scoop up a small woodland mouse and tucked it into a small pouch, closed with a button.
Itachi: Bemused, Itachi stared at the mouse as Sasuke tucked it away, one eyebrow aloft in silent question.
Sasuke: No answer was offered up to the silent question as Sasuke quickly was up in the trees once more and continuing in the same direction. His movements to catch the rodent had been quick enough to be missed if one blinked, anyway.
They followed a small river upstream, until a pool of water and a waterfall was reached. Masked by leaves and a slight genjutsu was a wooden door, also partially obscured behind the falling water. Sasuke made a quick survey of the surrounding area once he landed on the ground near the pool.
"This is it," he stated, indicating that the door was the entrance to the small hideout.
Itachi: Making a quick sweep of the area with his Sharingan before examining the genjutsu that disguised Sasuke's hideout. He could see right through it, but to the normal human eye the illusion would be quite effective, he thought as acknowledged his spare's obvious statement with a faint "hn" and prepared to follow him in.
Sasuke: Leaving the genjutsu up, Sasuke walked up to the door and opened it. Light from outside was shed into the interior of the cave revealing more than a handful of snakes, including a larger one that looked strangely different to the others. A small command was given by the Uchiha leader that sounded more like a hiss than anything, and the smaller reptiles took leave of the area.
"Ssassuke," spoke a slithery voice as Sasuke formed the hand seals to light the small fire pit near the door. The remaining larger snake weaved toward the teen as it continued to speak. "What bringss you?"
Itachi: Crimson eyes narrowed and he gave the snake a very distrusting look as he watched the goings-on, but Itachi was more disapproving of his spare understanding the language of snakes than him simply using them.
Sasuke: "Training, Yaotzin," came the simple reply as the cave was suddenly alight from the flames of the small fire. The serpent's head tilted the slightest, seeming expectant of something before it's attention swung over to Itachi, examining the older Uchiha.
The cave itself was not tiny, but not enormous either. While one of Kisame's stature would have difficulty standing fully erect inside, it was not a problem for the smaller built Uchiha. To the left of the entry appeared to be a mattress tightly wrapped in a plastic material to keep out moisture, and at the back a small wood burning furnace. The rest of the small shelter was still mostly darkened, but obviously it winged out some to the sides in an asymmetric shape.
Itachi: He narrowed his eyes and examined the snake right back, observing the rest of the cave through his peripheral vision.
Sasuke: Sasuke could feel the air thicken with his spare's distaste of the summoning snake. Motioning with his head faintly to pull the serpent's attention back to him instead of his brother, the young Uchiha pulled out the small pouch that contained the payment for services.
"You may go," the teen commanded as he released the mouse on to the floor. Yaotzin was quick to catch the snack in his fangs before disappearing in a poof to leave the two men.
Itachi: "Hn." The snake now gone, Itachi examined the cave more thoroughly before turning his attention to his spare. "So. Where are we to start with this training?"
Sasuke: "Anywhere. We're pretty secluded," he informed his brother as he laid his travel pack against the wall and went to the back to start the small wood burner. "I also brought various scrolls I have found in the base that we can learn, if you are interested."
Once the furnace was lit, the rest of the small cave could be seen which included a small pool of filtered water off to one side and a dirt shelf with cut timber for the fires.
Itachi: Interested, Itachi followed Sasuke with a flicker of his eyes before heading over to the travel pack. "In here, yes? What sort of techniques do they contain?"
Sasuke: He wasn't all that surprised at Itachi's interest in new material to learn. "Various things, from earth based techniques to genjutsu. Orochimaru's obsession with learning every technique in the world does come in handy," he answered with a slight smirk. Really it wasn't all bad that he studied so much under the snake sannin, and living in Otogakure gave even more access to his old sensei's toys.
Itachi: "Hn..." The Uchiha paged through the scrolls, intrigued at the wealth of information at his fingertips. A few jutsus in particular caught his eye. There was no question that he hated Orochimaru, but this... this could be useful.
Sasuke: The young man moved over to the hidden trap door and opened it to retrieve the items inside. Various objects such as utensils and cookingware were pulled out along with a sealed bottle of water and two cans of non-perishable food. There were other things left in the storage space, including a few more bottles of water and cans of food.
Sasuke placed the items by the burning fire pit before moving back over to where his spare was reviewing the scrolls. He spoke as he crouched next to Itachi, "Any of it interest you, my light?"
Itachi: He picked up one of the scrolls and displayed the katakana scratched on the scroll to his brother. "Mudslide Barrier. Sense Impairment. Mask of Cruelty," he read off from the various jutsu inside the scroll, a thin slip of a cruel smile on his face. "One is a earth ninjutsu and the other two are genjutsu. All have various possible applications, and, I think, will be excellent additions to my repertoire."
Sasuke: His fingers naturally moved to Itachi's hair while crouched beside him. Slender fingers carded through the long ponytail carefully as to not cause a hard tug should they catch a knot from their travels. "Mmm.. Mast of Cruelty seems like a fun one," he commented as a darkened smirk pulled up the corner of his lips. "I had glanced over it quickly when I was collecting the scrolls."
Itachi: "Of course you may learn it as well." He smirked faintly, leaning a bit into the hand in his hair before turning to nudge Sasuke's shoulder with his own as he began to stand. "Our training can take place outside... But how long do you plan to stay here? I cannot help but notice the canned food you have stored away."
Sasuke: "Tch, of course," he responded somewhat sarcastically. Beyond destroying the scroll, it wasn't as if his brother could really stop him from learning the jutsu if he wanted.
Sasuke rose with his spare as the other stood, but pulled his fingers out of the older man's hair. "We are quick learners. I figure a week should suffice and much will be learned," commented the younger brother. He glanced over at the canned food that he had placed aside. "That isn't all I was planning for us to eat, nii-san. There is still game that can be fished and hunted and food obtainable in the village. I keep a small stock of non-perishables here simply to be prepared."
Itachi: Simply ignoring the sarcasm from his spare, Itachi glanced over the non-perishables. "Do you have herbs to flavor any meat we catch? ...And in any case, we should begin, unless you had something else in mind for today."
Sasuke: "A few," answered Sasuke. "They're in the storage space." The young man didn't give a reply to Itachi's suggestion of beginning their training, instead looking as if he were pondering something. He did have something in mind, an offer and compromise. It had been something he thought about for a while, but was uncertain his brother would agree to it.
Itachi: The older Uchiha stared at his spare for a time as the teen stared into space. He leaned against a wall and waited until the younger was ready to speak.
Sasuke: Before leaving for their training vacation, Sasuke had decided he would bring up the topic to his spare no matter how unsure he was of it's rejection. In his silent contemplation, the young leader decided to just get the thought out once and for all.
Taking on a confident look, the teen turned and looked at Itachi in all seriousness. "I have a proposition to make to you, Itachi."
Itachi: He straightened and faced the teen, seeing how serious Sasuke had become. He broke his silence. "What sort of proposition, my spare?"
Sasuke: The teen didn't even flinch as he held eye contact with his brother and offered up his proposition. "I desire for you to mark me for all the world to know I am yours, always, my spare... but never leave a permanent mark on one of my twins, and I will agree to the same and bear your marking proudly."
Itachi: His head tilted, and a small, genuine smile lit up his face. There was nothing to consider. This was his chance to show his possession of his chosen spare to all in a way that could not be denied, and he would take it. "Where would you like it?" He crooned, advancing with depraved eyes, his mind already spinning with his own ideas for placing and method.
Sasuke: The way his spare advanced toward him, and the look in his eyes, was uniquely comforting and welcomed by Sasuke. Assuming Itachi was planning on taking up the idea right now, Sasuke began to disrobe willingly. "Anywhere, my light, except my face. I rather like my face unscathed," he stated. The fact that he was in avoidance of such a mark on his face also had much to do with his spare's past link to Madara, and their own obvious markings for each other.
Itachi: "Mm.." Itachi's eyelids half shut as he digested the meaning. A kunai appears in his hand and he holds it steady between his fingers as he surveys the flesh before him, crimson eyes scanning from taut legs to abdominal muscles up his chest to the collarbone - and he resists the urge to show his possessiveness in a more blatant way just yet. Pushing the younger Uchiha against a wall, he stares and places a hand on his skin, feeling along it, examining and thinking.
Sasuke: Sasuke allowed silence to descend upon them as he was pushed up against the wall without resistance. He watched his spare take in his body, and trembled a little while Itachi's hand felt out his flesh. There was a sense of pride in the younger Uchiha's expression, a sincere honor that the other man would so willingly take up his offer--and without needing time to think it over.
Itachi: Those dangerous half-lidded eyes peered at Sasuke, possession that could not be denied or hidden shining through them. He did not believe that his actions were rash -- rather that he was taking advantage of a perfect opportunity. In this case, it was that simple.
"Hold still," he said after what seemed like an eternity of silence, and pressed the tip of the kunai to the middle of his spare's abdominal muscles. The steel bit into flesh, blood bubbling up where the strokes of kanji were made -- diagonally, stretching from his abdominal muscles to his right hip. A blatantly obvious position to anyone that was that close, and that was the point. This was his statement. A small kanji was scratched in beside the strokes of his name; it translated literally to 'follower of the ancients'. There would be absolutely no doubt which Itachi this marking referred to.
Sasuke: Even though he steeled himself for the anticipated pain that would come with the tearing of his flesh from the sharp weapon, Sasuke still let out a gasped sound with the initial puncture. The younger brother remained statuesque while Itachi carved his mark on him, but his head did bend down in an attempt to watch the process. Silently he reveled in the feel of his warm blood running from the wounds and all the way down his right leg, and a depraved joy lit up his crimson orbs.
Itachi: With each etch of the blade something released inside of him. A sense of knowing and having... as well as relief welled up alongside depravity, and he knew that this act had sated his jealousy somewhat, had given him more of the confidence in his spare's loyalty that had, prior to this, been seeping away.
His chin laid on top of the boy's head as the blade came to a stop, and he tilted his head to watch the blood make its sluggish way to the floor. He reached down and nipped Sasuke's ear, growling possessively deep in his throat. "Mine." The softness of his whisper conflicted with the otherwise possessive display.
Sasuke: The younger Uchiha felt heady from the experience, a mix of endorphins and adrenaline coursing through his system from everything that just happened. Now that the marking was finished, and he no longer had to remain absolutely still, Sasuke's arms lifted to wrap around his brother's waist.
Even though he was not known for fidelity, Sasuke never once believed he was disloyal to his spare. The older man had a position in his life that Sasuke could not even begin to imagine another person having. The few disagreed beliefs aside, he knew even before submitting to the mark that he would fight alongside, and for, Itachi until his final breath.
"My spare," he whispered as he held Itachi loosely as to not dirty the older Uchiha's clothing with his blood incase it was unwanted. "Your place is unattainable, and will remain so even after the last of my blood has spilled in life."
Itachi: Myriad emotions spilled unchecked through his mind, a dangerous preoccupation that he only ceased after a minute - far too long. With a small sigh he loosely wrapped his arms around the younger Uchiha's waist and thought. Too right. I will not let myself be replaced. "My chosen spare.. your blood has spilled for mine, as mine will for yours."
Sasuke: The marking was more than a symbolic strengthening of their bond to Sasuke, it further completed his psyche as well. Sasuke felt a sense of contentment as a little bit of blood continued to trickle over his flesh and the sting of the cuts continued to burn. A soft pleased sound flitted from between his lips after Itachi spoke, the older man's words a confirmation to the younger that his decision was right and correct.
Itachi: The elder felt his older marks and felt the urge to press it against Sasuke's; suppressed the urge, then, and squeezed his eyes shut. That gesture belonged to another place and time. He realized what he was doing and drew back, instead taking one hand up to trace the marking listlessly.
Sasuke: There was a curious tilt of his head when his spare's eyes shut so tightly. It didn't seem like Itachi to make such an expression as if he were vigorously fighting off something in his mind. As the older Uchiha's fingers absently moved over the bloody wound, Sasuke brought a hand up from the waist to comb his fingers into Itachi's hair. "My spare... share with me. What is on your mind?" he inquired quietly.
Itachi: His expression smoothed, control regained, and his eyes slanted down to regard Sasuke. He was initially reluctant to speak of the similarities in this moment or the meaning behind his urge, thinking that it would be misconstrued. "Memories that were pleasant do not always stay that way... "
Sasuke: His lips twisted into the beginnings of a sad smile. He knew he couldn't be sure on those words alone, but Sasuke thought he understood the meaning. "That is true," he could only agree on such a sentiment. "But I intend to keep our pleasant memories that way. For as long as I am capable," added Sasuke as slender fingers moved through his spare's bangs.
Itachi: The fingers moving through his hair felt good, and he allowed his muscles to relax under the treatment and gave a small sound that could have been both a sigh and an affirmation. The fingers of one hand trailed up Sasuke's back and idly combed through the tiny spikes at the nape of his spare's neck. Time was slowed with them alone here, with no reason to worry about the effect of others. It was good.
OOC info on the techniques:
Mudslide Barrier [B or A-class ninjutsu (doton); creates a wall that merges with nearby rock surfaces, great for blocking and trapping]
Sense Impairment [C-class genjutsu; targets a random sense of the victim's, making it seem to fail for periods at a time (examples: flickering vision, semi-deafness, inability to smell). All temporary, but still very useful.]
Mask of Cruelty [A-class genjutsu; quite a complicated genjutsu, but, in essence, causes the victim to see (and feel) themselves hurt whenever they attack another person, in the same way. Much more difficult to get rid of.]