Disclaimer: I do not own Naruto.

Title: Sacrifices

Pairings: Ita/Naru/Pein

AN: Well, the last part is done and I am done here. There is a lemon in this chapter. My first threesome and I am not sure it turned out well. Anyways, Sacrifices is now a completed story. I hope you enjoy.


His hands were steady, the brush held in his fingers moving with expert precision on the floor. Itachi, Pein and Sasuke were standing at the edge of the room, staying out of Naruto's way as he painted a seal on the wood floor with Itachi's blood.

The floor had three large, circular seals drawn on it. All of them separated from each other by reasonable distances. They were of roughly the same size but their designs were different.

"Naruto, explain what you are doing." Sasuke demanded with a scowl on his face as his Sharingan eyes tried to make sense of the seals. He admitted that his knowledge regarding this particular obscure art was limited but it wasn't pleasing to note that he did not recognize even a single symbol.

Naruto pointed toward a completed seal that was closest to them. "That seal removes the concealing seal that hides that entire structure from Itachi's eyes." He said in a bland voice as he concentrated on working on the last seal of the three. He gestured towards the other completed one, "Since I am planning on leaving Vishaka and Ashlesha on Itachi, I need that seal to freeze their functions for a while. They will not be active while I am working to remove the Seiryuu seal." He gestured towards the seal he was working on, "This seal will help me remove Seiryuu completely. Once that seal is removed, I will have to readjust the Vishaka and Ashlesha seals, giving Itachi full control of them therefore ending Madara's influence on him."

"You make it sound so simple." Sasuke murmured sarcastically.

"Well," Naruto grinned as he glanced at Sasuke, "I will be dead to the world for at least a week after spending so much chakra but," he shrugged, "In the end, it is worth the effort. Of course," he looked at Itachi and then back at Sasuke with a roguish smirk, "You will have to deal with the after effects that influence Itachi. Say hello to brotherly bonding time."

"Dobe…" Sasuke hissed but Naruto simply grinned unrepentantly. Pein observed the interaction between the two with a raised brow and before looking at Itachi with narrowed eyes.

Itachi answered the glare with an amused look before turning back to the blonde who had just finished working. "It is done." He stood and sighed, "Itachi-san, please remove your shirt and sit down at the centre of that circle." He gestured towards the first seal, "Don't step onto the runes."

Itachi nodded and stepped into the black center of the circle and sat down. Naruto knelt beside him, carefully avoiding the runes, "Raise your arm, I need to see the concealment seal." The older Uchiha complied. He watched with his Sharingan active as Naruto carefully dipped his finger into a small bowl containing Itachi's blood. Using the blood as ink, he drew runes connecting the seal on the floor to the concealment seal on the Uchiha's body.

"Done." Naruto said with a sigh before his hands slowly started forming seals. "Are you ticklish, Itachi-san?"

Itachi looked at him and raised a brow, "No."

Naruto nodded, looking down at the glowing chakra on the fingertips of both his hands. Taking a deep breath, he placed one glowing hand on the seal on the floor and another on the concealment seal on Itachi's body.

A bright blue glow emerged from both the seals before the seal of the floor that moving and reforming. Even as sweat tickled down Naruto's face, he kept a diligent eye on seal on the floor, watching the changes.

A small sound of triumph escaped his lips as the seal on the floor faded away. He looked up to see Itachi observing the now visible system on his body. Naruto took a small cloth and wiped a black liquid that was the only evidence left of the concealment seal.

"Damn it." Sasuke's whispered, his eyes wide as he observed the entire network of seals that was now visible to him as well. It seemed that the concealment seal did not only prevent Itachi from seeing those seals but it also kept it hidden from Sasuke. "Why the hell did you allow him to get those seals on you, Itachi? You weren't an idiot."

"Hush, Sasuke." Naruto snapped and the younger Uchiha fell silent, glaring at Itachi but saying nothing. "Itachi-san, I am going to now suppress the Vishaka and Ashlesha seals. I ask you to not activate your Sharingan under any circumstances. No matter how tempting it is to do so."

Itachi nodded and moved to the next seal. Naruto repeated the process of connecting the two seals on Itachi's body to the seal on the floor. His hand-seals are different this time; but he went at the same slow pace that he used on the first seal. "This will feel odd. The abrupt lack of support from the two seals will most likely confuse you." Itachi simply nodded at the warning.

The older Uchiha visibly jerked as the seal was activated, looking at Naruto with narrowed eyes. "Don't activate the Sharingan." Naruto warned again and it took all of Itachi's formidable self-control to comply with that request. The Vishaka and Ashlesha glowed, turning from bright blood red to dull brownish-black signifying that the seals were inactive.

By this time, Itachi was pale and his expression seemed uncharacteristically stressed. Naruto made a soothing noise at the back of his throat and ran his fingers through Itachi's hair, hoping to calm him. "Just for a little while longer, Itachi." He whispered as they moved to the last seal. "Even if it is not active, the Mangekyou is pressuring your mind. You are not accustomed to it because those seals have been protecting you. Do you understand why I insist that you keep the seals intact?" he asked softly as he drew the runes to connect the seal on the floor with the Seiryuu seal.

Itachi nodded, closing his eyes to concentrate on Naruto's voice. It felt as though something was clawing at his mind and his eyes burned. The temptation to activate the Sharingan and keep it active was intense. He had a feeling that the burning pain in his eyes would go away the moment Sharingan came to life in them.

"No, Itachi." Naruto commanded softly, as though reading his mind. Itachi nodded, suppressing the need. "Now, while I am removing this seal, I want you reject it just like you accepted it when Madara placed it on you."

Sasuke and Pein stayed silent as Naruto activated the final seal. The Seiryuu seal glowed but it seemed to be resisting. The blonde scowled and increased the amount of chakra he was pouring and the seal snapped. The dry ink turned wet and Naruto tiredly wiped it off, sitting back with a sigh.

Sasuke and Pein seemed to be waiting for Itachi to react. They still remembered Naruto's explanation that the removal of Seiryuu will affect the older Uchiha is ways that he could not guess. However, Itachi had his eyes closed and his lips drawn into a thin line.

Wordlessly, slit his own palm to draw some of his own blood before he started performing handseals. Blue chakra that contained a hint of the color of blood formed symbols on the tips of his fingers. Naruto grunted, sweat gleaming on his skin because of the effort it took. He jammed his fingers harshly into the two remaining seals, altering them to his needs before activating them.

Itachi seemed to relax the moment the two seals took effect but all of them started when Naruto fell back with a curse, his back slamming against the floor. "Damn…" he murmured faintly, his eyes closing as weakness set in, "I am never doing this again." He groaned hoarsely as he lost consciousness.


The days that followed the ritual were tense. Itachi seemed to be dealing with the psychological repercussions with his characteristic silence but Sasuke's keen eyes were quick to spot flaws. It took a minute in his presence for Itachi to start frowning before the older Uchiha would simply leave the room to avoid him.

Sasuke knew that Itachi spent a lot of his time staying isolated, silently contemplating his past actions. He had taken note of the number of meals he had skipped and knew the number of nights Itachi had spent training instead of sleeping.

Naruto was going to skin him alive for letting this continue.

It wasn't like he had a choice. Sasuke knew that his very presence was more damaging to Itachi's composure than anything else was. He was keenly aware of just how much the guilt seemed to be affecting Itachi. If Naruto's own words had not managed to convince him of Itachi's guiltlessness then his older brother's actions would have.

They needed to talk and resolve the issue before Naruto woke up or he would never hear the end of it from his dobe.

However, at that moment as he leaned against a wall inside Naruto's bedroom, he wondered if that was the appropriate time to talk. Itachi was sitting on Naruto's bed, reading a book while the boy remained unconscious. The older Uchiha came here often, simply to bask in Naruto's silent presence and to forget his troubles.

As he thought about it, he realized that this was the ideal time. Naruto's very presence would act as a buffer between them. It would stop him from giving into his urge to throttle his older brother.

"How are you feeling?" he asked neutrally, keeping his gaze steady on the older Uchiha. This was not the time to let emotions rule his actions.

Itachi closed the book before blank obsidian eyes looked up at him. "Why do you ask?"

Sasuke shrugged, "To start the inevitable conversation." He gestured towards Naruto, "It is his wish."

Itachi closed his eyes, "What would you like to know, otouto?"

The younger Uchiha paused, observing Itachi keenly. "Do you really think that it is your fault?"

Itachi paused for a moment, looking contemplative. The silence the descended over them after Sasuke's question was awkward and the younger Uchiha narrowed his eyes in frustration. It would have been easier if Itachi was willing to talk but his older brother was as secretive as he always was.

He scowled and leaned against the wall, glaring at Itachi as he waited for the other to answer, "Make me understand." He hissed, "I don't know a thing about seals of that high-grade but I do trust Naruto's opinion. You can't tell me that you aren't able to figure things out."

Itachi opened his eyes, a faint frown on his brow showing his annoyance and confusion clearly. "I expected to have some clarity… I expected the memories to give me some clues." He shook his head elegantly, "Do I think it was my fault? My intention to kill our parents? No… I don't think so…" he looked at Sasuke in the eye, "But the blame still lands on me."

"How?" Sasuke asked, frustrated.

"I will able to still my hand when it came down to killing you."

Sasuke stilled completely, stunned.

Itachi ran his fingers through his hair and Sasuke was dismayed to notice a slight tremble in those skilled hands. "When it came down to you, I was able to overpower the seal enough to stop myself from killing you. If I had the strength to stop myself then why didn't I stop myself from killing our parents and the rest?"

Sasuke stayed silent for a long time, observing Itachi as the older Uchiha looked at Naruto. There was nothing more to be said because as always, Itachi had managed to convey everything through a few well-chosen words. "I trust Naruto." He said finally.

Itachi looked up with a raised brow, wondering why that was relevant to their most recent conversation. "Naruto will never lie to me when it comes to such serious issues." He looked at Itachi seriously, "Is he wrong?"

He looked down at Naruto once again and Sasuke smirked when he saw some softeness enter his brother's eyes. "When is he ever wrong?" The older Uchiha asked.


"Naruto-san, the doctor said you need to eat light meals at regular intervals." A servant said as she placed the meal in front of him. Naruto sat up in his bed, narrowing his eyes at the soreness in his body.

"Please call me if you need anything else." She informed him, looking a little nervous. She was well aware that she was working for criminals but she knew Naruto in particular to be a gentle and respectful person.

She was proven correct when he smiled at her in gratitude, "Arigato, Kyoko-san."

She nodded, smiling in return, "Itachi-san said to inform you that he will be returning from his mission by tonight and Pein-sama should be returning any moment now."

"And Sasuke?"

She blushed, much to Naruto's amusement. Sasuke never failed to pick up fan-girls, wherever he went. "Sasuke-san did mention that he would be exploring the village."

Naruto nodded, thanking her once again before turning to his meal.

"N…Naruto-san…" she ventured hesitantly and Naruto paused, looking at her in confusion. "Itachi-san… he seems de…"

Naruto frowned when she hesitated at the end of her sentence, "Depressed?"

She nodded and he sighed. He placed his chopsticks on the tray on his lap. "There are some issues that we are dealing with now." He said softly.

She looked concerned, "Is something wrong with your… your relationship?" she asked tentatively.

Naruto looked at her, startled before laughing softly, "No." he smiled as he picked up the chopsticks once again. "There are just some personal issues. There is no need to be too concerned Kyoko-san. I will take care of him now that I am awake, don't worry."

She blushed in embarrassment before walking out of the room quickly. Naruto chuckled before indulging in his light meal. Her words had brought Itachi to the forefront of his mind.

Suddenly, he frowned. Itachi must have been really affected for her to notice. Very few people were perceptive enough to understand the changes in the older Uchiha's moods and Naruto that their servant was not one of them. With a scowl, he pushed away his bowl of rice and leaned back.

"You should eat that." Naruto started in surprise and looked up to see Pein entering his room.

"Pein-san, is Itachi alright?"

The Leader of Akatsuki paused and nodded hesitantly, "He is dealing with it." He looked at Naruto intently, "As you are awake now, I imagine he would deal with it better with your help." He leaned forward and casually kissed Naruto, "We have missed you."

Naruto pulled back in shock. The kiss, chaste and so casually given as though it was an everyday event, had startled him. With wide eyes, he looked up at Pein, a question clear in his eyes. The older man simply shook his and caressed his cheek lightly, "Itachi and Sasuke have decided that they will put off confronting Madara until they are sure they can defeat him." He pulled back, kissing Naruto's forehead softly before sitting back, "Finish your meal. After that we can go out and I will help you stretch your limbs a little."

Naruto nodded before digging into his meal, a frown of concern still marring his features. "How are Itachi and Sasuke getting along?" he asked softly.

"As well as one can expect." Pein shrugged, "Their relationship will never go back to the way it was before."

"I know that." Naruto grumbled, "I am just hoping that they get along with each other, that all. Itachi, I am not so worried about him but Sasuke… well; he tends to be a little more emotional and irrational at times."

Pein frowned as he recalled the interaction between the brothers while Naruto was unconscious. "From my observations I can tell that Itachi tries to stay away from Sasuke. They haven't spoken to each other much but generally are civil."

Naruto sighed with a small smile, "Well, I am hoping that it stays that way or improves, rather than getting worse over time."

Pein chuckled, waiting silently for Naruto to finish his meal.

"Pein-san…" Naruto began with a frown as he finished eating. "What do you think about Madara? Is it wise to put off dealing with him?"

The leader of Akatsuki frowned, "No. However, we have no choice. Itachi did say that even with Sasuke and him coming together and fighting Madara, they can't be sure to win." Pein narrowed his eyes, "And to some extent, I agree with him. Both Itachi and I have known Madara for a long time and while I am sure that he is not undefeatable, I can assure you that he has more tricks up his sleeve than anyone else."

"Are you sure that allowing him to stay close is a good idea? He does have access to the statue where all the bijuu are sealed. Such power…"

"He cannot touch it." Pein assured, "All ten of Akatsuki are required to unseal the statue and utilize the power within it." He leaned back beside Naruto, looking thoughtful, "However, if you can manage to up the security around it a bit… with those nifty seals of yours."

Naruto laughed softly and nodded, "Nifty, huh?" he smiled at Pein, "I guess so. I can try."

Pein smirked and stood, holding his hand out to Naruto, "Try to stand, slowly…" he cautioned and Naruto nodded, carefully moving to his feet with the support of Pein's hand.

As he stood, he was surprised to find that his body was not as stiff as he had expected it to be. Stumbling a little, he kept a firm grasp on Pein's arms. "Just a light warm up should be enough for now." The Akatsuki leader said as he wrapped an arm around Naruto's waist and guided him out of the room.

The fresh air outside the house did wonders to Naruto's mood. After a few stretches and careful light exercises with Pein's help, Naruto decided to sit and relax in the engawa, looking up at the clear blue sky.

"Feeling better?" Pein whispered against his ear, his lips brushing against Naruto's sensitive skin.

Naruto breathed a soft affirmative, his skin feeling flushed. Pein was being rather touchy-feely and a large portion of Naruto's heart enjoyed his attentions very much. His breath hitched in his throat when the older man nipped gently at the tender skin of his neck. "Pein…"

He started in surprise when he felt a pair of soft lips against his. His wide, cerulean eyes meeting half-mast ebony. 'Itachi…'

The older Uchiha pulled back, observing his surprised expression with a faint smirk. "I see that you are awake, Naruto-kun." He whispered, his eyes gleaming at the sight of Naruto's flushed face. Pein chuckled, his hand slipping slyly into the younger boy's yukata.

"Not fair…" Naruto gasped, heavy lidded eyes looking up at the Uchiha, "The two of you are ganging up on me."

Itachi brushed his lips against his, a moist tongue sweeping the sensitive flesh teasingly. "No more running, Naruto…" he seemed to purr. "We have given you enough time and since you do not give a solid negative reply, we will just assume that you are not averse to this."

Pein chuckled once again, looking at Itachi with a smirk, "Somewhere more private, I think. We don't want to traumatize your little brother."

Naruto closed his eyes, he rather not have Sasuke walking in on them. Slowly, a mischievous grin curled at his lips. He leaned forward towards Itachi, wrapping his arms about the Uchiha's neck and legs about his waist.

Itachi paused, raising a brow in amusement. Naruto gave him an innocent look, "Carry me."

With ease characteristic of him, the older Uchiha stood smoothly to his feet, his arms holding Naruto gently. He only glanced at Pein before stepping into the house that was now their home. The sound of Pein sliding the door shut echoed throughout the silent house and Itachi could feel Naruto's sigh against the skin of his neck.

He tightened his arms around him, brushing his lips against Naruto's temple.

Pein led them towards his bedroom, looking sly as he closed the door as soon as they entered. Pressing himself against Itachi's back, he lifted Naruto's head from the Uchiha's shoulder to kiss those pink lips that tempted him so much.

Itachi seemed to chuckle even though no sound came from his mouth. Naruto's earlier suspicions that Itachi and Pein had something between them were proved true. The older Uchiha simply leaned back against the body behind him, watching them kiss with amusement clear in his eyes.

Naruto moaned into Pein's mouth as Itachi loosened the tie of his yukata and pushed the fabric of his shoulders. He kissed the newly revealed skin with gentleness that contrasted Pein's fierce and possessive kiss.

With a soft whisper of Pein's name, Naruto pulled away as his back collided with the soft surface of Pein's bed. Itachi detached himself from the younger ninja, removing his yukata completely before targeting his underwear.

Pein, not willing to be left out, showered light kisses on Naruto's neck, his hands running along fine skin. He turned his attention towards Itachi for a moment, helping the Uchiha undress. Soon Naruto's hands joined his and they had a grand time trying their best to arouse and fluster the usually stoic Uchiha while removing his clothes.

Itachi greeted their attempts with a rather smug looking smirk.

Naruto scowled at him but gasped in surprise when the Uchiha caught his wrist and pulled him forward, causing him to stumble into Itachi's arms. "Shall we continue, Naruto-chan?" he whispered against his ear and Naruto flushed, melting into the Uchiha's embrace.

Pein chuckled and before pulling Naruto away from Itachi and into his arms. Trailing soft kisses down the younger boy's neck, he tossed a small bottle at the Uchiha with a pointed look.

Itachi narrowed his eyes at his superior, understanding the significance of the gesture but not the reason behind it.

"Go ahead, Itachi." Pein whispered, his fingers teasing Naruto's sensitive skin.

Itachi leaned forward, catching Naruto's lips in a fierce kiss and the boy gasped in surprise. Naruto groaned, his eyes falling shut and he wrapped his arms around the Uchiha. "Itachi…"

The breathy whisper sent a shiver of desire through him.

Pushing the younger boy against the bed, he grasped Naruto's hand, lacing his fingers with the blonde's, "Brace yourself." He murmured silkily against Naruto's ear before trailing his fingers down his side.

Naruto shivered and closed his eyes. He started Itachi's finger slipped into his body, his hands quickly coming up to embrace the Uchiha. The blonde pressed his lips against the sensitive skin on Itachi's neck, sinking his teeth in as though he was trying to anchor himself.

Pein's eyes gleamed at the flushed look on Naruto's face and Itachi's heated stare. Leaning forward, nibbled delicately on his youngest lover's ear before applying a bit of lubricant on his fingers and slipping his fingers alongside Itachi's.

Such warmth greeted him that Pein closed his eyes to savor it. At last, months of waiting, they would be able to complete the circle. Naruto would be theirs.

The muscles forming the orifice seemed to bear down on their fingers and Pein grinned sharply. He had given Itachi permission to take Naruto first, to savor that warmth, that love first, because Itachi was Naruto's first choice. Soon, he would possess Naruto; soon he could claim that the two exquisite beings in front of him were his own.

Naruto turned his attention towards Pein as faint traces of pleasure traveled through him. With a low moan, he pulled Pein towards him, seizing his lips in a passionate kiss, craving Pein just as much as he craved Itachi.

Itachi chuckled faintly at Pein's surprise before he lavished teasing kisses on Naruto's chest. Slowly, he removed his fingers, sending a pointed look at Pein before he leaned forward, grasping Naruto's hands and entwined their fingers.

Naruto jerked away from Pein, his eyes wide as soon as he felt it, the outright painful invasion of his body. Itachi groaned at the reflexive tightening of his flesh around him. He pressed his forehead against the boy's shoulder, "Easy, saiai." He whispered, nodding to Pein when the other man's hands and lips distracted Naruto.

Naruto groaned, his fingers tightening around Itachi's as the uncomfortable feeling seemed to increase as Itachi moved.


"Shh…" the Uchiha whispered, pressing his lips against Naruto's neck, "I know." He nuzzled the golden skin presented to him, "Relax."

Itachi let go one of Naruto's arms before deftly rolling onto his back, embracing Naruto tightly. The blonde pressed his face against Itachi's chest and whimpered.

A murmur against his ear brought his attention to Pein who was gently massaging his lower back, placing lingering kisses down his spine. Itachi sat up, drawing Naruto into a soothing kiss before helping him move. "Slowly," he whispered, his eyes gleaming with desire and Naruto threw his head back and moaned. "That's right."

Naruto leaned back against Pein, turning his head a little to kiss the leader, moaning when Pein stroked his sensitive arousal delicately.

The sensation of Itachi within him and Pein's skillful hands and soft lips was enough to make him moan wantonly. With Itachi's assistance, he moved but his inexperience hindered him. A whispered plea left his lips and he leaned down, unable to move on his own, "Please… Itachi…"

The Uchiha leaned forward, allowing Naruto's body to rest against Pein's before he took command. Raising the boy's legs onto his shoulder, he entered Naruto again, in one swift thrust.

Naruto cried out, the abrupt change in pace sending daggers of pleasure through him. Each thrust brought with it a pleasurable burning sensation; each caress sent a blood rushing through his veins him. Neither of his lovers seemed to be able to focus on anything else but Naruto.

He felt so wild, as though possessed by some strange entity. Moaning softly, he let his nails dig into Pein's skin leaving crescent shaped marks. His skin felt hot but cold due to the cool wind caressing his sweat-slicked skin.

It wasn't long before something within him snapped and he arched his back, his face pressed against the warm skin of Pein's neck, his release coming hard and swift.

A soft whimper escaped him, his breathing erratic as he looked up at the Uchiha with wide, passion-filled eyes. He pulled Itachi to him, wrapping his arms around the older ninja almost protectively. Itachi stiffened, Naruto's name spilling from his lips in a reverent whisper.

The sensation of Itachi's release filling him was something he would never forget.

He closed his eyes, savoring the soft kisses the older Uchiha showered on him as he withdrew from his body. He tried to calm himself, relaxing into Pein's embrace.

"Oh no…" a deep voice purred in his ear and his eyes widened when he felt his back meet the bed. He looked up at Pein, his breath hitching in his throat when he spotted the look of fierce possessiveness and desire in those oddly colored eyes. "We are not finished, Naru-chan." He whispered, slipping slyly between Naruto's parted legs.

In one thrust, Pein was possessing him. This time, it was less painful and more startling. Unlike Itachi, Pein was far from being slow or gentle.

Naruto trembled, his arms coming up to grasp Pein's shoulders tightly. "Pein…" he whispered, his eyes closing in rapture. The leader was hard and decisive, his kisses fiercely dominating and possessive.

Naruto was helpless in his embrace; all he could do is press his face against the sweaty skin of Pein's shoulder as he experienced wave after wave of pure, intense pleasure. He jerked in surprise as he was moved and look up to see Itachi smirking at him.

Oh god, two intensely passionate lovers together, Naruto was lost in a haze of desire. He arched against Pein, shivering at the contrast of Pein's rough ways and Itachi teasingly gentle caresses.

"Dear lord…" Naruto breathed, gasping loudly when Pein's teeth bit into his shoulder. His fingers fisted in the orange colored strands of his oldest lover's hair, "Pein… Pein… love, please…"

Pein said nothing, moving harder, faster until Naruto was incoherent with pleasure. The boy's whispery moans and soft pleas were like music to their years and Itachi locked his eyes with the leader.

Pein growled under his breath, drawing the stunning Uchiha into a deep kiss that reminded Itachi just to whom both Naruto and him belonged. Itachi closed his eyes, shivering imperceptibly, held in place by the fingers that held his hair. He submitted to the kiss, the sensation of Naruto's body against his and Pein's kiss making him lose a bit of his control.

As they parted, Pein looked at him intently even though his lips were now teasing Naruto's skin, "Mine…" he whispered just as Naruto found his second release of the evening. Turning toward the panting blonde, he tightened his arms, "Both of you are mine."

Itachi pressed his face against Naruto's shoulder, nibbling at the sensitive skin he found there as both he and Naruto murmured in agreement to Pein's words.


Naruto stumbled into the kitchen, his body deliciously sore and mind still hazy from the lingering effects of passion. He groaned, wondering why he even bothered to leave the warm heaven of Itachi and Pein's embrace to come to the cold kitchen.

He rubbed the back of his neck with a tired moan, hoping to relieve the ache that had developed there. "Those bastards…" he murmured under his breath.


Naruto started, turning around to find a narrow-eyed Sasuke looking at him intently. The blonde blushed, hurriedly adjusting his hastily worn yukata. "Sasuke…"

"I think it is safe to assume that you had sex." Sasuke stated bluntly and Naruto winced. "And considering the nature of those idiots, I can also assume that they forgot that this was your first time." He drawled in a bored tone, ignoring Naruto's blush.

The younger Uchiha walked over to the cabinets and brought out some tea. "Sit down, dobe."

Naruto complied and squirmed uncomfortably, a pained grimace marring his features. Sasuke hissed in irritation before moving over to the couch in the living room and fetching one of the fluffy cushions. He tossed it at Naruto. "Place that on the chair and then sit."

The blonde raised a brow in question but did as he was told, sighing in relief. "Thanks."

Sasuke snorting and started making tea, "When did you wake up?"

Naruto sighed and closed his eyes, relaxing in his chair, "About five hours ago, I guess." The Uchiha simply nodded, letting the water boil before adding the tealeaves. "Those two?"

Naruto smiled softly, "They are sleeping."

Sasuke looked at him over his shoulder with a raised brow, "Oh? Wore them out that much?" he smirked.

Naruto's eyes widened, "You bastard!" he glared at the chuckling Uchiha, "Since when did you develop a perverted sense of humor…" he shook his head, "Forget that, when did you develop a sense of humor?"

Sasuke snorted and placed a cup of hot, soothing tea in front of him and sat down as well. "So, there is a problem we haven't discussed yet."

Naruto raised a brow in question as he sipped his tea. "What about Konoha?"

The blonde paused, his brow furrowing in thought. "Konoha…" he whispered. The village he once belonged to, the village which his father saved by sacrificing him. The same village had been a source of his life-long torment as well as the origin of the few precious relationships that he treasured.

He closed his eyes, "I gave up my allegiance to Konoha when I resigned and left the village."

"You keep telling yourself that." Sasuke whispered in reply, "Tsunade, Jiraiya, Iruka, Kakashi, rookie nine, the Gai team… Sakura…"

Naruto flinched.

"You will never use your full strength in a battle against them should we come to face Konoha as enemies in the future." Sasuke said bluntly, "You will die rather than see them die."


The younger Uchiha gestured toward Pein's room with narrowed eyes, "They don't know you as well as I do, dobe." He looked at Naruto intently. "Konoha is going to move against Akatsuki sooner or later… those friends of yours have come to believe that you left Konoha because taking the Kyuubi away from you changed you too much." He smirked, "According to Suigetsu, who was saying for me at the time, Sakura complained that you were not their Naruto anymore and that is why you left."

Naruto's eyes widened.

"They blame Akatsuki, they blame me…" Sasuke looked amused, "But they refuse to blame their own village."

The blonde stilled completely before leaning back with a sigh of resignation. "What should I do…"

Sasuke shrugged, "Haven't you done enough? What you should think about now is how you are going to deal with the rather inevitable battle that would happen between Konoha and Akatsuki." The Uchiha crossed his arms, "I was an A-class missing nin. S-class, now that I have managed to kill Orochimaru." He frowned, "Konoha will be after my neck. Both Itachi and I are now members of this organization and they know it."

Naruto looked at Sasuke in surprise, "How?"

"Somehow." Sasuke shrugged, "After Orochimaru, Itachi is the highest priority for the Hunter-nins of Konoha."

Naruto ran his fingers through his hair, "So even if Akatsuki stops being a threat to them, they will come after you and Itachi." He closed his eyes, "It is something I cannot allow."

"Since you outsmarted them, they cannot label you as a missing-nin." Sasuke said, looking amused, "But, they can consider you an enemy."

Naruto sighed and finished his tea. "I know. However,' he closed his eyes in pain, "I just can't make that choice, Sasuke."

Sasuke narrowed his eyes before looking at Naruto seriously, "You will have to." he leaned forward, holding that cerulean gaze, "Tsunade is going to retire soon. Her replacement is Kakashi and while she was someone who would unite heaven and hell for you, Kakashi's loyalty lies in the memory of your father."

Naruto nodded, "He will consider me a traitor."

Some of his guilt must have slipped into his voice before Sasuke stiffened in rage. "They demanded too much from just one person, Naruto. You cannot take the blame. You wanted freedom and you acquired it through legal means. Where you go from then on is your business, not theirs."


"Dobe, think of yourself for once." He scowled, "By taking care of yourself and being a little selfish, you will be doing us a favor."

Naruto chuckled and shook his head, "Sasuke, I just allowed myself to enter into a relationship that by all means is against whatever my father planned for me." He snorted, "I am being more selfish now than I have ever been in my life." The blonde sighed and stood with a small smile. "Thanks for the tea, Sasuke. I should get back to bed."

Sasuke nodded and Naruto walked back to Pein's room.

The room was dark but Naruto could see clearly. Pein and Itachi were still sleeping and that was the most vulnerable he had ever seen them. Leaning against the wall by the door, he paused to observe them. Pein was on corner of the bed, on his stomach while Itachi seemed to sleep as gracefully as he did everything.

It was either them or Konoha.

He closed his eyes. Itachi was the only person he loved to such an extent that everything else seemed trivial in comparison. There seemed to be no limit to his feelings. Everything that affected Itachi seemed to affect him.

When he had first seen the seal, his keen interest to study it had deterred his feelings from rising to the surface. However, when he had been alone in his room that night, the pain had been scalding.

To see such a brilliant person tamed by a seal… to see that pride compromised and that strength bound…

Naruto shook his head.

Then there was Pein. How could he begin to describe that man? He was someone who commanded some of the most powerful ninjas in the world with apparent ease. However, that strength needed to be seen to be understood. Something about Pein seemed to put Naruto at ease.

He found that Itachi was not perfect. However, Pein… Pein was their rock and as long as he was there, Naruto had a feeling that neither he nor Itachi would ever be lost. Pein was someone Naruto had begun to trust endlessly.

He was not going to let anyone hurt his lovers or Sasuke if he could help it. They were precious to him in ways that he couldn't even begin to describe. Words would never be enough.

Sharp blue eyes opened, glittering in darkness. He had decided.

Konoha be damned…