Burial In Crimson Flames
by Kaline Reine

Disclaimer: I do not own One Piece or Naruto or any of the characters/settings. This is just a crossover fanfiction story.

WARNINGS: This story contains (or may contain) graphic adult content and language, explicit sex scenes which may or may not be consensual, possible violence, gore, cursing, adult themes, etc. This one also contains Yaoi. I do not censor my writing, but I do my best to warn people about the subject matter and potential subject matter. So if you don't like that kind of thing or can't handle it, then I suggest not reading this story. You have been warned. Also, I know this doesn't follow canon but it doesn't have to, that's why it's a fanfic. xD

Chapter 4:

The chains rattled lightly, which was Ace's way of getting his attention. "Those are the guards!" He mouthed to him silently.

"I know." Itachi mouthed back, nodding.

That grating sound was definitely the metal door at the top of the staircase swinging open on it's rusty hinges. There was a flurry of movement inside the cell. There was no time to waste. He had to scramble to grab their clothes. It was a good thing he was a Ninja, because he had to move really fast to pull up Ace's shorts, and zip and button them, before picking up his own discarded clothing. He had to do all of this before they got caught with their pants down... Literally!

Once he was dressed, Itachi picked up the bits of discarded rope. He then tied his own hands behind his back. He made sure to leave it a little loose, in case he needed to escape quickly. He didn't want them to know that he had actually freed himself and could still perform Jutsu. Luckily, he'd managed to get all this down before they reached the bottom of the staircase and came into view.

"Hmm... Uchiha-san?" The stern voice of one of the guards who had brought him down here was heard. They had already reached the bars.

"Yeah. What?" The Uchiha responded haughtily.

"Someone's come for you," He proceeded to state the obvious, which actually almost made Ace chuckle a bit. The Pirate settled for a knowing smirk instead. "You're being released. Please step over to the cell door and wait for us to unlock it."

"Hn..." Was the only response he offered the man.

'Well. How about that...'

Itachi did as he'd been instructed, feeling both good and bad about it at the same time. He was glad he was being set free. A surge of relief flooded through him. But there was still a powerful sadness which hung over him, tugging at his heart, weighing him down...

He turned, taking one last look at Ace, the man he'd just shared such a connection with.

"What about him?" He asked the guard, gesturing toward the bound man with his head. "Can he be released with me? I'm sure the Akatsuki could use-"

"Hahahaha!" The other guard was holding his stomach, as he was doubled over laughing. "You... You can't be- ahaha- serious! That's Firefist Ace, the toughest son of a bitch on the Grand Line! Hahaha! You're insane if you think we'd ever let him outta here!"

"That's a good one," The first guard replied, already opening the door and hauling Itachi out of the cell. "But no, you won't have to worry about him much longer. He'll be executed soon. Hope he didn't give you any trouble."

Itachi's eyes narrowed dangerously, the Sharingan still swirling in his irises... His whole body went tense. He knew that he could easily take down both of these guards. He was getting ready to do something really drastic, but he was stopped by a voice behind him.

"Ita-kun..." The Pirate called out to him. He stopped short with his back still turned, his fists clenched behind his back, and wordlessly waited for him to speak. "Go."

'Why isn't he begging me to take him with me?' The Uchiha wondered. 'Didn't he just hear them? He's been sentenced to death...'

"Why?" He said it was more of a statement than a question.

Itachi wriggled out of the guard's grasp. He was gone before they could stop him. He went back into the cell before they closed the door, heading right for the other prisoner. The guards actually seemed afraid to follow him inside for some reason. He moved forward with a forlorn, regrettable look.

"I..." Before he could get the words out, Ace was silenced by a swift kiss.

Their lips pressed together, their tongues met in a dance as old as time, and when he could stand it no longer, he finally pulled away. The Shinobi just looked at him, his eyes glowing, his expression unreadable... Ah, if only such a kiss were able to be hidden within a look...

It was like for a moment, they were re-living everything all over again in their minds. Ace hadn't really figured it out yet. It was perplexing... Maybe it had something to do with his strange eyes? But it certainly felt like they'd just shared many hours of raw passion. Only Itachi knew the truth. It had, in fact, been precisely seventy-two hours. That was all he could give him now, although it wasn't much. Not nearly enough.

He'd wanted to save him... But now he was getting out of here without a fight. If he did anything else, he would be imprisoned again and not even the dreaded Akatsuki organization could get him out this time.

The guards raised their eyebrows, exchanging looks with one another as the scene unfolded before them. At first, they'd thought the Uchiha was trying to kill the other man, but it seemed they'd shared an intimate moment.

"Well... That was..." The first one hesitated. "Unusual. I take it the two of you made friends, hehe..."

"I've had enough of this," The other one protested. "It's almost time for my break. That's disgusting, you little bitch. Are you ready to go?"

"Yes." Was the only word Itachi spoke to them, though he spoke with narrowed eyes and a permanent scowl on his face.

He exited the prison cell and allowed them to lead him away in silence... He was grateful that he was being released, but it was upsetting that he had to leave Ace behind. Itachi was torn. He really didn't want to. But then, he'd rarely, if ever, gotten what he truly wanted...

Sulking, the Uchiha took quick strides up the stairs, taking them two at a time just to get away from this situation. Ace was left behind, his freckled face tinged slightly red, and a semblance of a smile making itself known.

Itachi paused at the top of the stairs. Once the door was closed and secured behind him, the guards untied his wrists. They didn't seem to notice that the rope was loose, although they might have known. He really didn't care what they thought of his brash actions. He was then escorted into a room where he saw Pein, familiar bright orange hair and black piercings and all, waiting for him. He was accompanied by his assistant, Konan.

"Itachi-san." Their leader nodded to him respectfully in greeting.

"Pein-sama." He responded snarkily. Not even a thank you. That was typical of him though, and it was exactly what they were expecting.

The blue haired woman to his right stifled a giggle, bringing a hand to her mouth to make it look like she was just adjusting her lip ring. Although it was annoying to have to deal with them, Itachi never thought he would actually be so relieved to see those familiar red and black cloaks again.

Konan held one out for him to slip into. Apparently they'd managed to get his Akatsuki cloak back from the guards who had confiscated it when he'd come in. No one in Impel Down was allowed to keep any personal items.

It was obvious that Pein wasn't too happy with him, but it was part of their business arrangement that the Akatsuki would make every effort to get one of their members out of any prison or any sort of trouble they got themselves into. Which was also why they couldn't afford to accept just anyone. Itachi had always been careful, this was the first time he'd ever screwed up at all.

Once he put his cloak on, the orange haired man glared at him. "It just figures that we'd have to come save your ass from this hell. Let's go."

Itachi could only smirk, lightly thinking to himself...

'It wasn't like hell at all... For a short time, this was my heaven.'

A/N: Honestly, I was going to continue and make this a little longer, because I had a different ending planned... But now I'm seriously considering just ending this here.

Either way, thanks for reading! c: