Categories > Anime/Manga > Naruto

My Last Breath

by ladygizarme 2 reviews

I know you hear me, I can taste it in your tears... [Sasuke-centric Songfic, manga spoilers] Angst, Character Death, COMPLETE [rated for language (one word), blood, and death]

Category: Naruto - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst - Characters: Itachi,Sasuke - Warnings: [!!!] [V] - Published: 2008-03-31 - Updated: 2008-03-31 - 2139 words - Complete

Disclaimer: Don’t own Naruto. Don’t own the song rights. Don’t make any money from this. all bases covered

/My Last Breath/

Beta: ren
Song: “My Last Breath” by Evanescence
Spoiler Warning: up to current manga chapters (mostly 393 & 394)
Content Warning: Sasuke-centric, manipulation of events from recent manga, angst, character death

My Last Breath

Sasuke watched, paralyzed in fear against the partially-destroyed slab of wall bearing his family’s crest, as Itachi stalked towards him, step by ominous step. The emblem that for so many years had served as his personal cross in his struggle for vengeance—the physical reminder of the family he so missed; longed for; must avenge—was now the literal wall he was backed against. It would now serve witness to his death; the unfulfilled end of his life’s purpose.

Hold on to me, love
You know I can't stay long

In these, his inevitable last moments, the symbol that had been like a talisman for him all this time gave him anything but comfort.

Eyes wide, teeth gritted, breath held, heart pounding, limbs frozen in mounting terror; all Sasuke could do was watch and wait helplessly as the final small distance between him and the man he used to call “aniki” closed. Itachi’s hand raised, bloody fingers outstretched and poised to pluck his eyes from their very sockets.

Suddenly, just a step away, Itachi paused. Between the blood roaring through his ears and Itachi’s low murmur, Sasuke barely caught what he said then, but he did.

“You did well, Sasuke. You are indeed my brother.”

Then he smiled, and reached forward as Sasuke was dazed by his confusing and seemingly tender words; words so reminiscent of those his father had graced him with so long ago. In that moment, Sasuke knew he was done for. He had lost and Itachi would now take his eyes. Those bloody fingers extended towards his face, and Sasuke sucked in a sharp, anxious breath, unable to blink as his brother’s greedy hand filled his vision.

But his eyes remained intact as, in the next moment, Itachi’s fingers instead poked his forehead before losing their strength and sliding down, leaving a trail of blood down Sasuke’s face in their wake. Itachi fell forward, briefly leaning against Sasuke as his knees buckled and his forehead hit the wall, his hand grasping at his brother’s waist wrap before finally falling over onto his back.

All I wanted to say was I love you and I'm not afraid

So caught off guard by the turn of events, it took Sasuke a moment to remember to breathe. When he did, it was harsh and gasping, catching up to him after his seemingly eternal moment of terror. Tiredly, Sasuke’s eyes drifted down to look at the man fallen before his feet. Blank eyes stared blindly up at the sky from out of Itachi’s pale, weary, blood-streaked face, his whole body still and silent.

It was over, finally, and relief started to flow through Sasuke’s body like life-giving blood. Yet, as the rain began to fall, Sasuke’s thoughts couldn’t help but drift to the past—before the massacre; his brother’s final actions pulling them unwillingly from the depths of Sasuke’s not-quite-forgotten memories.

Can you hear me?

Why had Itachi said those words? They were spoken so softly… Was he even meant to hear them?

Can you feel me in your arms?

Why had Itachi poked his forehead instead of taking his eyes? Had he known he was about to collapse? If so, why bother to perform that gesture at all? Did it mean anything? Or was it an accident? Was it his final brotherly act? Or was it Itachi’s final mind-fuck? For that matter, why had he grasped at Sasuke as he fell?

Holding my last breath

Whatever the reason, if there even was one, it had forced open the door to Sasuke’s locked up memories of happier times.

Rain poured down on the two brothers, washing the blood on Sasuke’s forehead into his eye, hiding the tears he thought he could no longer shed behind streams of blood and rain.

Safe inside myself
Are all my thoughts of you

Closing his eyes to stem the stream, the memories washed over him just as the rain, drowning him in nostalgia and regret as lightning streaked across the sky.

Sweet raptured light, it ends here tonight

Overwhelmed by the lost—but apparently not forgotten—feelings, Sasuke collapsed to his knees. Falling over, barely managing to brace himself on his hands, Sasuke found himself kneeling above his brother.

The rain pouring down was warm from the atmosphere, yet Sasuke felt cold; chilled to the bone. He gazed at the man he thought to be dead beneath him, and wondered if he was as cold in death as Sasuke felt in life—whatever was left of it. The thought led to an irrational memory of them as children.

I'll miss the winter
A world of fragile things

It had been nearing New Year and Itachi had just returned from an Anbu mission the day before, when it began to snow heavily. Soon all of Konoha was covered in a blanket of white, and an odd mixture of quiet calm and muffled excitement spread through the village.

Snow was a rarity in Konoha—really, in Fire Country altogether—and Sasuke had begged and begged Itachi to come out in the snow with him. He’d heard and seen other children out playing in the snow together, and sorely wished to share the experience with his older brother. Itachi had refused in his usual way, though, leaving Sasuke rubbing his forehead and pouting as he decided to head out on his own.

As he trekked out into his clan’s woods, he marveled at the untouched wonderland, and how different the familiar area looked just with the simple addition of snow. Looking behind himself, he’d traced the path of his lone footsteps with his eyes. It disappeared beyond the edge of the forest his trail led through, and Sasuke turned back around to continue his trek through the thickening forest, trying not to wish Itachi was with him.

Just as he’d thought that, the soft crunch of snow beneath his feet seemed to grow louder, as if echoing somewhere in the distance. He paused in his steps, listening intently, goosebumps forming on his skin as the faint “echo” coming from behind him did not cease.

Look for me in the white forest
Hiding in a hollow tree (come find me)

Shivering from the cold and his unease, he’d turned around as quickly as his cold-numbed, sandaled feet would let him, only to be met with the sight of Itachi following his footsteps in the snow. Seeing his brother, Sasuke had smiled and run to greet him. Itachi had smiled in return before wrapping a cloak around Sasuke’s small, shivering form, and lifting him up to ride on his back.

Sasuke had snuggled into the warmth then, enjoying being carried back home by his aniki. Once he’d warmed up and dressed in proper clothing, Itachi had taken him out to play in the snow after all.

It was a sweeter time then, and a bittersweet memory now. For a split second, it made him wish he could once again find comfort and safety in his brother’s arms, and his tears renewed. What he wouldn’t give for none of this to have ever happened!

He leaned over Itachi, grasping at his shirt and fisting it in his hands as he mourned all that had happened between them since that time so long ago. That was when he felt it—Itachi’s heart, beating weakly but still beating. Listening intently, he could now hear Itachi’s quietly rasping breath, as well. With all his remaining strength, he pushed himself back up to hover above the apparently still alive man, wide eyes flitting back and forth over Itachi’s form to calculate the danger, but Itachi still did not move, and Sasuke did not move away.

“Sasuke,” Itachi whispered with as much strength as he could muster.

And though it was weak, Sasuke could hear that same old beckoning tone he would always remember. And though his brother could no longer move, in Sasuke’s mind’s eye he could see that same old motioning hand he had always obeyed. So he did.

He leaned closer again.

I know you hear me

With ears straining and arms trembling slightly as he forced them to hold himself up, he listened to his brother’s final words. The priceless information that would grant Sasuke the knowledge and power to defeat Uchiha Madara.

I can taste it in your tears

As Itachi’s words grew faint and the slow rasp of his breathing died to nothing, Sasuke’s tears and the blood from Itachi’s fingers mixed together to drip on his brother’s face, mixing with the blood on Itachi’s mouth and washing away with the rain.

Holding my last breath

Sasuke’s strength finally gave out, and he rolled to the side as he collapsed, ending up on his back beside Itachi, his body laying in the opposite direction of his brother’s. As he lay there, staring up at the sky now darkening with smoke, raindrops still pelting down on him, he contemplated his brother’s words.

Safe inside myself
Are all my thoughts of you

Of course, even if he hadn’t had this sudden collapse in his feelings of hatred towards Itachi, Uchiha Madara would inevitably be his next target of vengeance. He was the reason for everything that had happened to his family, after all. He had corrupted Itachi, planting the seeds of insanity, instigating and assisting in the genocide of their entire clan. He deserved to pay the ultimate price for his betrayal!

Sweet raptured light, it ends here tonight

Yet as much as Sasuke yearned to exact that final vengeance, he knew his time was already growing short. Amaterasu was still burning, engulfing the surrounding forest. He could no longer even move his limbs to escape, as depleted of both energy and chakra as he was. In fact, due to being forced to use his final trump card of bringing out Orochimaru, his chakra depletion was now life-threatening. Even as he lay there, longing for the life he never thought he would care for after killing Itachi, Sasuke felt his life force weakening.

Closing your eyes to disappear

His vision blurred and dimmed. Smoke from the approaching fire burned his eyes, so he closed them.

You pray your dreams will leave you here

He said a silent prayer, begging all the kami and his lost ancestors to forgive him.

But still you wake and know the truth

But he knew he did not deserve their forgiveness. He had devoted his life to avenging them and, despite Itachi now being dead, he could not truly take the credit for that. Most of the damage to Itachi had been done by Itachi himself. And despite Itachi being dead, there was still one more traitor left. And Sasuke was dying a failure.

No one's there

Whatever his ancestors’ greeting to him may be, he would find out soon.

Say goodnight
Don't be afraid

He wasn’t scared of dying. He had never seen much of a future for himself beyond being an avenger. If not for his regret of leaving Madara alive, he would welcome his coming death.

Calling me, calling me as you fade to black

His family was already waiting for him. He could already hear them calling to him from the other side.

“Tou-san… kaa-san…” he answered faintly.

With that, he breathed no more, and left this world for the next.

(Say goodnight) Holding my last breath
(Don't be afraid) Safe inside myself
(Calling me, calling me) Are all my thoughts of you

And as he reunited with his family, the fire spread over the ruins of the Uchiha hideout, devouring the bodies of the Uchiha brothers.

Sweet raptured light, it ends here tonight



I have a SasuNaru version of this in the works, also. Because I couldn’t decide between the two, and the song speaks strongly to me for both. It will be posted as soon as I have time to finish it. Please watch for it and check it out once I post it, if the pairing interests you. (I don’t mind e-mailing those that are interested when it’s posted, if requested—include your e-mail addy, obviously.)

Reviews and ratings make my day. So, go ahead, make my day! ^_~

Ja, mata ne

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