Naruto fan fiction
Genre: character study, pre-series, gen
Rating: G (K)
Characters: Itachi (Fugaku, Mikoto)
Word Count: almost 700
Notes: Recently a new fandom guidebook for Naruto came out, wherein Itachi’s hobby was listed as “walking through sweet places (i.e. confectioner’s shops)", which I thought was immensely, immensely disconcerting. This is my attempt to make peace with the idea.
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
It was Father who taught him most things in the beginning. Mother was, or was once, a kunoichi as well, but whenever Father breached the subject with her, (Mikoto, Itachi should learn some of your jutsu—the pride of your clan. He is your son, too.) she would sit quiet and still; restive, miserable, trapped. But unyielding. It is this Itachi learns from his mother.
(He is your son, too. To see her react thusly to those words stirs something in him, like the dull thunder of branches against rooftop during storm times—roaring-wild in the darkness, dynamic pounding vibration (felt but not seen) on the inside.
He feels the sentiment is less true now, somehow. That she has robbed fact from statement simply by her denial of it.)
Perhaps because Fugaku’s wife is ripe with pregnancy once more (Mother, he corrects. Fugaku’s wife is Mother. And Fugaku is Father. Mother, Father.), perhaps because Itachi is six years old and due to graduate Academy in August, Fugaku (Father) leads him to a place Itachi has never seen before.
It is not amazing. It is not even curious. It looks exactly as every shop and building in Konoha does. But Itachi has been raised to expect that what is familiar is most sinister, that what is empty requires the most careful watch.
(And Itachi is empty. Six years and he has already given everything of himself.)
This is how far it has gotten him. They have not yet stopped in front of the door and Itachi has cataloged the following: heat from under the door (a furnace inside?), windows chakra-sealed to keep out bugs (unusual, for Konoha. Insects are as much a part of the forest as the ninja are), and an overpowering saccharine cloud, that emanates from the roof of the building and makes Itachi feel slightly ill.
Father’s mouth opens, and Itachi wills the nausea away, answers ready.
The question never comes. Instead, “Go in.”
The inside is not amazing, either. But it is curious. It is far too hot inside, with the June sun and the small furnace boiling something pink and crusted at the top. But in the end it has always been vision that Itachi holds most dear, and it was vision now that overrode all else. Thick slabs of something deep and brown (there are two slabs missing, but they have left sticky footprints in their wake). Round cakes with something in the middle, the shadow of which bleeds through the white skin. Pastry in the shape of fish, and a platter of many colored stars.
Itachi follows his father across the length of the display, right to left. His father’s gaze will linger on this or that, one time a bun, another, a sugar drop, but ultimately will turn away in search of something (nothing) else.
And Itachi fills himself with the sight of everything. This is—
Over. Father leaves the shop without a word, and Itachi follows.
He is more shaken than he would have imagined, because he has seen all those things now—he had been living, breathing, so close to whatever it was the shop held—but they cannot be touched.
At the house, Mother has dinner waiting for them—steamed cabbage, steamed rice. Fugaku (and now Itachi doesn’t bother correcting, because he is but six and does not yet understand that blood runs stronger than hatred, that a father is forever a father, a mother a mother, a sibling a sibling) does not eat.
Itachi does, and Mother sits across from him, waiting, as near as Itachi can tell, to take his dishes.
“I hear today your father taught you how to look but not touch.”
Itachi meets her gaze. Her eyes are watchful, intent. She looks away.
“I hope that… That someday you will learn that it’s possible to love something, even if you can’t touch it.
“Even if it can’t be yours.”
His hand brushes the top of hers as he hands her his dishes, and she shudders.
A pause, a breath, a hiccup in time.
Then: “I understand.” Itachi’s father showed him temptation; his mother taught him acceptance.
Live to despise me, Sasuke. Live to hate me.
but if it had to perish twice
I think I know enough of hate
to say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
“Fire and Ice”, Robert Frost
Think of this as a prequel to Verisimilitude. I keep getting this horrible feeling that all of my Itachi fics will end up in the Uchiha kitchen, somehow. XP Written in one go; apologies in advance for any sloppy writing and disregard for canon details (like, for instance, that Itachi and Sasuke are only five years apart, not six or seven).
Constructive criticism is, as always, appreciated!